Nationals homer their way past the Phillies, Gio Gonzalez goes seven strong

WP – G. Gonzalez (7-3) LP – C. Lee (10-3)

The Washington Nationals were able to pound out four solo homeruns off Cliff Lee to beat the Phillies in hopes of splitting this series. Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos hit back to back homeruns in the top of the fifth inning. Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth duplicated their teammates effort in the top of the sixth, crossing the crucial three run mark that seems to dictate when the Nationals will win or lose.

The Nationals fared well against the left-handed Lee after back to back nights of poor hitting against two other Phillies left-handers. They were able to get nine hits off Lee, giving him only his third loss of the season.

Gio Gonzalez went seven strong innings, only allowing a solo homerun to Darin Ruf in the bottom of the seventh. He gave up one run on six hits, two walks while striking out five. Gio lowered his season ERA to 3.03 with his last start before the All-Star game.

The Phillies seemed to have difficulty with Gonzalez off-speed and breaking ball all night. The biggest change from the first two games of the series was that Ben Revere only managed to get on base one time which was a source of most of their momentum in the earlier games.

Carlos Ruiz was the only Phillies hitter to manage more than one hit on the game and only he and Ruf managed to be on base more than once either.

The Nationals managed an extra run in the top of the ninth on an swinging bunt by Denard Span that brought Rendon in to score from third. Tyler Clippard pitched the eighth and Rafael Soriano closed the game out in a non-save situation in the ninth.

The Nationals are now 47-44 on the year, and 42-10 when they manage to score at least three runs in the game. The Nationals now trail the Atlanta Braves by five games in the National League East.

Robert Peterson lives in the Washington DC Metro area and has been covering the Nationals since the team moved to the area in 2005

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