Philadelphia (32-27) at Washington (27-33)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC, US
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Thu Jun 8, 2006
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The Philadelphia Phillies seek their fifth straight win when they open a four-game series with the Washington Nationals on Thursday at RFK Stadium.

Philadelphia (32-27) is coming off a three-game sweep of Arizona and is 5-2 on its season-long 11-game road trip.

The Phillies are riding their second four-game road winning streak of the season. They won six in a row away from Citizens Bank Park from April 30-May 14.

Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Sal Fasano each homered in the Phillies’ 7-3 win over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

“Sometimes you get lucky,” said Fasano, a lifetime .228 hitter who tied his career high with four hits. “You get a couple of bleeders to fall in for you and you hit a ball hard, so I’m pretty happy.”

Rookie Eude Brito (0-1, 13.50 ERA) is slated to start the series opener Thursday.

Brito became the seventh Phillies pitcher to make a start this season when he filled in for the injured Jon Lieber on Saturday.

The left-hander gave up six runs in four innings of an 8-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Anything I was throwing, they were hitting,” Brito said.

Brito appeared in six games with Philadelphia a year ago and went 1-2 with a 3.68 ERA. He struggled this spring and was sent down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he went 5-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 starts.

Washington (27-33) concluded a 6-3 road trip with wins in six of the last seven games, including two of three against Atlanta.

Ramon Ortiz won his fifth straight start and Marlon Anderson fueled a three-run sixth inning with a two-run homer off John Smoltz in the Nationals’ 5-2 victory over the Braves on Wednesday.

“It was a slider,” said Anderson. “I was able to battle there and lay off the sinker away the pitch before, and got a slider that he left up a little bit.”

The Nationals, who have won five of their last six series, kick off a season-high 11-game homestand Thursday with Michael O’Connor (2-3, 3.25) scheduled to start.

O’Connor has been very consistent since he was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on April 27. The 25-year-old left-hander has allowed three runs or less and pitched at least five innings in each of his eight starts, but hasn’t won since May 7.

His last time out, O’Connor gave up three runs, struck out six and walked six in 5 1-3 innings of the Nationals’ 4-3 win at Milwaukee on Saturday.

“He wasn’t good, he was OK,” Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. “Too many pitches outside the strike zone. He has to get back into the strike zone.”

O’Connor faced Philadelphia on May 29 and allowed three runs and struck out five in five innings of an 11-2 defeat.

The Phillies have won six of the last nine meetings in the series and swept the Nationals the last time they played at RFK Stadium, a three-game series from Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

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Starting Pitchers

E. Brito NYM vs. M. O'Connor MIN
1-2 Record 3-8
7.36 ERA 4.80
9 K 59
12 BB 45
1.80 WHIP 1.34