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Phillies 3-2 over Nationals in the series opener in CBP: A.J. Burnett strikes out 12

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Philadelphia Phillies' starter A.J. Burnett struck out 12 in seven innings of work and Jonathan Papelbon held on after giving up a two-out, ninth inning home run by Wilson Ramos that got the Washington Nationals within one. 3-2 final in Citizens Bank Park.

Rich Schultz

All the way-way, from Phil-Phil-lay-lay Top 5:

5. Quick Recap: Philadelphia Phillies' first baseman Ryan Howard came a few feet short of a home run to right off Tanner Roark in the bottom of the fourth in Citizens Bank Park. Howard settled for a one-out double that bounced off the top of the out-of-town scoreboard, and he took third on single to left by Marlon Byrd before scoring on what was ruled an RBI single to center by Domonic Brown, whose grounder up the middle looked like a tailor-made DP until it rolled under Danny Espinosa' glove and onto the outfield grass.

1-0 Phillies after four in CBP.

Cody Asche's ninth home run of the year came on a 2-0 change up in the zone inside from Tanner Roark that ended up way back in the seats in right field for a solo home run in the fifth that gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

Anthony Rendon cut the Phillies' lead in half in the top of the sixth with a one-out solo home run to left on a first-pitch sinker from A.J. Burnett. 2-1 Phillies after Rendon's 17th cleared the left field fence.

Carlos Ruiz gave the Phillies their three-run lead back, however, with a solo home run to left off Jerry Blevins with one down in the seventh. 3-1 Phillies on Ruiz's fourth of 2014.

Wilson Ramos hit a two-out solo home run to right in the ninth to get the Nationals within one...

But that's how it ended... 3-2 Phillies in CBP.

4. Roark in CBP: Tanner Roark threw seven scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks last time out in a 3-2 win in Nationals Park, giving up just five hits and one walk. Washington's 27-year-old right-hander threw a total of 99 pitches before he was lifted. He received no decision, however, since Nats' reliever Tyler Clippard gave up a two-run, game-tying home run after taking over on the mound in the top of the eighth.

After the game, Nationals' skipper Matt Williams praised Roark's work on the mound, while noting that the second-year major leaguer wasn't as sharp as he has been at times this season.

"I think his fastball velocity was a little bit down tonight, didn't have his best stuff, but he finds a way to make it through..." -Matt Williams on Tanner Roark vs AZ

"Not as crisp," Williams said. "Last couple of times out, a little bit all over the place. Used the changeup effectively tonight, made pitches when he needed to, but he hasn't been as crisp the last couple of times.

Roark still managed to hold the D-Backs scoreless for seven innings.

"He finds a way to make pitches when he needs to and he did that again tonight," Williams explained.

"I think his fastball velocity was a little bit down tonight, didn't have his best stuff, but he finds a way to make it through and again, seven scoreless, that's not easy to do. Especially when you don't have your 'A' game, but he finds a way."

"I felt good," Roark told reporters after the start. "Felt -- early on, the first two innings, I was nibbling a little bit with my fastball and after that just started attacking more and being aggressive."

That outing left Roark (1-1) in four August starts over which he's put up a 3.12 ERA, a 4.29 FIP and a .235/.288/.385 line in 26 IP.

In 47 IP in the second half of his second MLB campaign, the righty has a 2.30 ERA, a 3.61 FIP and a .204/.257/.318 line over seven starts in which he's (4-1) with the Nationals 6-1.

Tonight he was taking on the Philadelphia Phillies for the third time this season and for the third time on the road in Citizens Bank Park where he gave up seven hits and seven runs in four innings in a 7-2 loss on May 3rd and gave up four hits and one run in seven innings in a July 13th outing which the Nats won, 10-3.

On the road this season, before the series Opener in Citizens Bank Park, Roark was (6-2) in 12 starts with a 3.29 ERA, a 3.20 FIP, 14 walks (1.64 BB/9) and 65 Ks (7.63 K/9) in 76 ⅔ IP over which opposing hitters have put up a .221/.270/.339 line against him.

His third start of the year in the Phillies' home began with a groundout to second...

1st: Ben Revere grounded out to second to start the home-half of the first. Jimmy Rollins lined a single to left-center for a one-out hit, but Denard Span got to it quickly to hold the Phillies' shortstop at first. With Chase Utley up, Rollins stole second base without a throw from Wilson Ramos, who dropped the ball on the exchange. Utley backed Werth up to the out-of-town scoreboard in right with the second out of the inning. Rollins took third on the fly ball. Ryan Howard battled Roark for 11 pitches before taking a high 3-2 fastball for ball four and a two-out walk. Marlon Byrd stepped in with two on and two out and K'd swinging at a 2-2 curve outside. 32-pitch frame.

2nd: Domonic Brown popped out to short to start the Phillies' second. Carlos Ruiz grounded out to short. Philly third baseman Cody Asche lined out to Danny Espinosa to end a quick, nine-pitch, 1-2-3 second. 41 total after two.

3rd: A.J. Burnett grounded out to short to start the Phillies' half of the third. Ben Revere lined to second on a 90 mph 3-1 fastball. Jimmy Rollins popped up behind the mound to end another quick frame. 16-pitch, 1-2-3 inning. 57 total for Roark after three.

4th: Chase Ultey popped up in front of the mound to start the home-half of the fourth. Ryan Howard bounced a 2-1 change off the out-of-town scoreboard in right for a one-out double. Marlon Byrd ripped a single to the left side of the infield off Anthony Rendon's glove. Domonic Brown stepped in with runners on the corners and one out and grounded into what could have been an inning-ending DP if it hadn't gotten under Danny Espinosa's glove. RBI single instead, 1-0 Phillies. Carlos Ruiz grounded to third in the next at bat, allowing Anthony Rendon to turn an inning-ending 5-3 DP. 15-pitch frame for Roark, 72 total.

5th: Cody Asche took a 2-0 change from Roark for a ride to right and out of the yard for a solo home run and a 2-0 lead. A.J. Burnett grounded out to third for the first out of the frame. Ben Revere grounded back to the mound. Jimmy Rollins K'd swinging to end a 16-pitch frame that left Roark at 88 total overall.

6th: Chase Utley grounded into his scouting report, sending a single up the middle to Ian Desmond, who was waiting for it behind second base. Ryan Howard lined out to Anthony Rendon at second in the shift. Marlon Byrd's lineout to Bryce Harper in left ended a 15-pitch frame. 103 pitches overall.

Tanner Roark's Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 103 P, 61 S, 7/1 GO/FO.

3. A.J. vs D.C.: Phillies' right-hander A.J. Burnett, 37, signed a 2-year/$22.5M deal with Philadelphia this winter.

In 27 starts before tonight's in the Phillies' series opener with the Washington Nationals, the 16-year veteran was (6-14) with a 4.42 ERA, a 4.13 FIP, 76 walks (4.00 BB/9) and 145 Ks (7.63 K/9) in 171 IP.

Four of his 27 starts this season were against the Nats. Burnett gave up three hits, two walks and one earned run in a May 3rd outing in Citizens Bank Park which the Phillies won, 7-2. The next time out, on the road in D.C., he gave up 10 hits, four walks and eight earned runs in six innings in an 8-4 loss. Back home in CBP, he beat the Nats on July 11th, surrendering five hits, four walks and two earned runs in 7 ⅔ IP in a 6-2 win.

Last time out, however, a frustrated Burnett got himself ejected after just 1 ⅔ IP in Nationals Park in which he gave up three hits, two walks and five runs, just one earned in an outing in which he and home plate umpire Chris Guccione failed to see eye-to-eye on the strike zone.

His fifth start of the sason against the Phillies' NL East rivals from the nation's capital began with a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the first.

Burnett got both Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper looking with sinkers for the second and third outs of a 16-pitch, 1-2-3 second, which had him up to 25 total after two.

Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa K'd swinging for the first two outs of the third, but Tanner Roark broke up Burnett's nascent no-hit bid with a two-out, line-drive single to center. Denard Span battled Burnett for eight pitches before striking out and ending a 21-pitch frame by Burnett, who was up to 46 pitches and six Ks.

Jayson Werth walked with one down in the fourth, but two outs later he was stranded at the end of Burnett's fourth scoreless. The 17-pitch frame left Burnett at 63 overall.

A two-out HBP on Danny Espinosa gave the Nationals another baserunner, but Tanner Roark K'd swinging to strand him and end a 25-pitch frame with Burnett's 10th K. 88 pitches overall for Burnett after five.

Anthony Rendon broke up Burnett's bid for a shutout with a one-out solo blast to left field on a first-pitch sinker inside that cleared the wall in left. 2-1 game. No.17 for Rendon. Swinging Ks from Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche gave Burnett 12 Ks in six innings. The 10-pitch frame left him at 98 overall.

Ian Desmond "doubled" to left and off Domonic Brown's glove to start the Nationals' seventh, when Brown tracked it down but had it bounce off his glove. Three pitches and three outs later, Desmond was stranded at second as Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa went down in order. 103 pitches overall for Burnett.

A.J. Burnett's Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 Ks, 1 HR, 103 P, 67 S, 3-6 GO/FO.

2.Turning Point(s): With runners on first and third and one out in the Phillies' half of the fourth, Tanner Roark got the DP grounder he wanted out of Domonic Brown, but Danny Espinosa let it get by him and roll into center for an RBI single that gave Philadephia a 1-0 lead. Roark get a double play from Carlos Ruiz in the next at bat, but the damage was done and the Phillies were up by one.

After the Phillies took a 2-0 lead on Cody Asche's ninth home run of the year, Nats' third baseman Anthony Rendon hit a one-out solo blast to left field in Citizens Bank Park to get the Nationals on the board. Rendon pulled a first-pitch sinker out to left, just clearing the wall, but it cut the Phillies' lead in half.

Just when it seemed like the tide might be turning the Nats' way, after Rendon's home run and a reversed call at second on Domonic Brown, Jerry Blevins gave up a one-out solo home run to left by Carlos Ruiz that gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead.

1. The Wrap-Up: Jerry Blevins gave up a leadoff single to left by Domonic Brown, who beat a throw in but came off the bag and was tagged by Danny Espinosa, though the ump had to review the play before getting it right. With one out, however, Carlos Ruiz worked the count full and crushed a fastball from Blevins, sending his fourth home run of the year out to left for a 3-1 Phillies' lead. Blevins hit Darin Ruf with two down, and Rendon saved his "bacon" with a diving play at third to rob Ben Revere of a two-out single.

Kevin Frandsen greeted Phillies' reliever Jake Diekman with a leadoff double to left-center in the top of the eighth, but Denard Span popped up to the infield for the first out of the frame. Anthony Rendon lined out to a sliding Marlon Byrd in right for out no.2. Jayson Werth walked to put two on, but Adam LaRoche grounded out to first to end the top of the eighth. Still 3-1 Phillies.

Ross Detwiler need nine pitches to get three outs in the bottom of the eighth.

Jonathan Papelbon came on looking for the save and struck out Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper for the first two outs of the frame. Wilson Ramos stepped in with two out and homered to right. Opposite field blast. 3-2 Phillies... Pinch hitter Asdrubal Cabrera... singled to left. Pinch hitter Nate Schierholtz grounded into a force at second to end it.

Nationals now 75-55