It was supposed to rain all night in the nation’s capital, but it never did, at least not while the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies were playing their series opener in Nationals Park. The visitors jumped on Nats’ starter Tanner Roark early, and the Phils put up 12 runs on 15 hits in what ended up a 12-2 win.
Roark vs Phillies: In three starts this month before taking on the Phillies tonight, 31-year-old Nationals’ right-hander Tanner Roark had a 5.06 ERA and a .299/.351/.537 line against in 16 IP. His last start before the series opener with Philadelphia in D.C. was his shortest of 2018, a four-inning outing in Toronto in which he gave up eight hits and four earned runs.
Washington’s skipper Davey Martinez deciding to go to the bullpen at that point.
“I stunk today,” Roark acknowledged after when ended up an 8-6 loss to the Blue Jays.
“Didn’t really have much working for me.”
Facing the Phillies for the second time this season, after giving up six hits and three runs in 6 1⁄3 innings on May 5th, Roark fell behind 2-0 early, giving up a leadoff walk (on a 3-2 pitch to Cesar Hernandez that was a strike), a one-out single by Odubel Herrera, and a line drive, two-run single to left by Carlos Santana.
Roark struck out three in the first, and was up to five Ks from nine batters after he added a couple of strikeouts in the top of the second, but after the Nats rallied to tie it up at 2-2, a leadoff single by Hernandez, and a one-out, two-run homer by Odubel Herrera made it a 4-2 game in the Phillies’ favor.
Rhys Hoskins doubled to left on a 2-2 changeup to lead off the fifth, moved to third on a groundout by Herrera, and he scored one out later, after a walk to Carlos Santana, when Nick Williams hit an RBI line drive to right, 5-2.
Tim Collins gave up a run on a single to center after taking over for Roark with the bases loaded and one out, adding a sixth run to the starter’s line.
Tanner Roark’s Line: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 7 Ks, 113 P, 68 S, 2/4 GO/FO.
Eflin vs the Nationals: Before tonight, Phillies’ right-hander Zach Eflin had a 3.43 ERA and a .238/.290/.375 line against in eight starts and 44 2⁄3 IP, having lowered his ERA from a 4.50 mark in his last three outings, over which he was (3-0) with a 1.93 ERA and a .212/.268/.258 line against in 18 2⁄3 IP.
Eflin took the mound with a 2-0 lead on Friday night in D.C., but leadoff and one-out doubles by Juan Soto and Michael A. Taylor, respectively, in the second, cut the Phillies’ lead in half.
Taylor stole third base in the next at bat, No. 22 of 2018, and scored on a sac fly to left field by Wilmer Difo, 2-2.
Elfin’s teammates gave him another two-run lead when Odubel Herrera hit a two-run blast off Tanner Roark in the top of the third, and he kept the Nationals at two runs through four, and stranded two in the fifth, which ended up being his final inning of work.
Zach Eflin’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 97 P, 64 S, 3/5 GO/FO.
MAT Lucky No. 13: Michael A. Taylor sent a double by third base in his first at bat, driving in a run and extending his personal hit streak to 13-straight games, over which the 27-year-old outfielder was 18 for 40 with four doubles, one home run, six RBIs, four walks, nine stolen bases, and eight runs scored after Wilmer Difo drove him in with a sac fly.
Michael A. Taylor extends his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI 2B! pic.twitter.com/RCdPtJS5OP— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 22, 2018
Odubel = hot: Phillies’ center fielder Odubel Herrera came into the series opener in D.C. on a hot streak, with homers in four straight games and in five of his last six. He was 2 for 2 vs Tanner Roark on the night after he sent a two-run home run out to right field in Nationals Park, extending his home run streak to five straight games, with blasts in six of seven.
BULLPEN ACTION: Tim Collins gave up a run, but limited the damage after inheriting a bases-loaded, one-out jam from Tanner Roark in the fifth.
Matt Grace got the ball in the sixth, and erased a leadoff single with a double play, but Odubel Herrera’s third hit of the night (3 for 4) was followed by the Phillies’ second HR, Carlos Santana’s two-run blast on a first-pitch sinker, which made it an 8-2 game.
Phillies’ righty Austin Davis worked around a leadoff single by Daniel Murphy for a scoreless bottom of the sixth.
Grace came back out for the seventh, and completed a scoreless frame. Sammy Solis got the eighth, which ended up being a three-run inning that left it an 11-2 game.
Justin Miller gave up a solo shot to right field by Andrew Knapp in the ninth 12-2. That’s how it ended. Mercifully.
Final Score: 12-2 Phillies
Nationals now 40-34