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Phillies 7, Nationals 5(6)

Phillies 7, Nationals 5(6)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Playing two after a 12-inning game the night before, the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals both needed some solid starting pitching.

The Phillies got it in both games, with an assist from a thunderstorm that shortened the second one. The Nationals didn't come close either time and got swept.

Raul Ibanez hit three long home runs, and the Phillies again battered the National League's worst pitching staff Saturday in 8-5 and 7-5 victories in a day-night doubleheader. Brett Myers cranked out seven innings in the afternoon, and emergency callup Andrew Carpenter pitched into the fifth in his first major league start in a nightcap called in the sixth due to rain.

"That second game, that's what you call a good break," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, citing the thin bullpen from the 10-6 extra-inning win on Friday night. "We'll take it. That's part of the game. It definitely helped us."

Philadelphia also got a scoreless-inning save in Game 1 from closer Brad Lidge, who had allowed at least one run in each of his six previous outings. Meanwhile, things got worse for the Nationals: Game 1 starter Scott Olsen is headed to the disabled list with a shoulder injury, and Game 2 starter Daniel Cabrera dropped to 0-5 with another miserable performance.

"You don't know how bad this feels," said Cabrera, who allowed seven runs and eight hits in five innings to raise his ERA to 5.95. "I've been out there for seven or eight times, and I can't even get a win for my team. I just feel really bad. I feel the worst I've ever been in my life."

Myers (3-2) started the day by matching his longest outing of season while striking out a season-high eight batters and allowing a season-low three hits.

"We needed somebody to step up and eat up some innings," Ibanez said. "Not only did he do that, but he turned in a brilliant performance."

Carpenter (1-0) promoted overnight from Triple-A because scheduled starter J.A. Happ worked in relief Friday night, allowed five runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings in Game 2. His effort turned out OK because a bad weather halted play after three Phillies had batted in the top of the sixth. Umpires gave up trying to complete the game 90 minutes later, giving Clay Condrey a save for getting the final two outs of the fifth.

"Could've done better, could've done worse. Good first outing, I guess. At least we won," said Carpenter, who was sent back down to the minors after the game and didn't realize at the time he earned his first career victory. Because the game only went five innings, he only needed to go four to get the win instead of the standard five.

Ibanez finished the day with five hits, four runs and seven RBIs and has 13 homers on the season. He is 19 for 33 with six homers and 16 RBIs against the Nationals.

"Don't need to talk about him," said Manuel, trying not to jinx his slugger. "Leave him alone."

Manuel was happy to talk about Lidge, who blew a save chance Friday night. Given his recent struggles, Lidge's work Saturday was worth more than just his sixth save.

"That's how I've always managed - I get him out there as soon as I can," Manuel said. "I think sometimes if you show people you've got confidence in them, that definitely helps them."

For Nationals manager Manny Acta, Saturday was more of the same. After using eight pitchers Friday night, he said - only half-jokingly - that he expected eight innings from Olsen.

Instead, Olsen (1-4) was gone after five innings and 94 pitches, having allowed nine hits and six runs to put his ERA at 7.24. Afterward, the left-hander underwent an MRI exam and had a cortisone shot in his throwing shoulder. He'll go on the DL on Monday, replaced by Double-A call-up Ross Detwiler.

"We weren't anticipating things to be this way," said Acta, summing up a team ERA that is now 5.70.

Notes: LHP Sergio Escalona will be recalled from Double-A Reading to take Carpenter's spot. ... Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman reached base safely in both games, extending his streak to 34. ... The Phillies' 11-4 road record is the best in the majors. ... Nationals CF Elijah Dukes, who strained his left hamstring in Friday's game, struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth in the first game and did not play in the second. .. Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley, in an 0 for 18 slump, sat out the first game but went 3 for 3 in the second. .... The nightcap attendance of 23,896 was the Nationals' best since opening day. ... Unusual stat: Carlos Ruiz walked on four pitches with the bases loaded in the fifth, giving the patient, slick-fielding Phillies more bases-loaded walks (12) than errors (11) this season. ... All players wore No. 42 in the nightcap in honor of Jackie Robinson, a tribute postponed from April 15 because of a rainout.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 17, 2009

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