The Philadelphia Phillies hope their frustrating season-opening slump finally is behind them.
They’ll try for a season-high fourth straight win when they open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.
The Phillies (7-11) opened the season with 11 losses in their first 15 games, and had failed to put together back-to-back wins before their current winning streak. They’re coming off an impressive 11-4 win over Houston on Monday night in a makeup of a rained-out contest.
Jimmy Rollins went 4-for-5 with four runs, two RBIs and his 19th career leadoff homer for Philadelphia, which tallied a season-high 20 hits. The Phillies have scored 20 runs with 32 hits in their last two games.
“We needed to score some runs and we just stayed after it,” said Rollins, who was a double shy of the cycle and leads the NL with seven homers. “We know we have a good offense. We’re hoping that as the weather gets warmer, we’ll keep seeing it.”
Chase Utley added a homer and Aaron Rowand went 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Rowand leads the Phillies with a .364 batting average and is hitting .429 (18-for-42) during his hitting streak.
Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer (2-1, 3.05 ERA) will be hoping his team stays hot at the plate as he makes his second straight start against the Nationals on Tuesday. The 44-year-old left-hander allowed two runs in eight innings of Thursday’s 4-2 win in Washington.
“He does it to everybody. That’s why he’s been around for so long,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “He’s done it against experienced teams and young teams. He’s a master of changing speed.”
Moyer is 7-4 with a 2.97 ERA in 16 career appearances with 15 starts against the Nationals.
Washington’s Jason Bergmann (0-1, 3.94), who also pitched in the recent two-game series between these teams, allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings of the Nationals’ 5-4 win in 13 innings on Wednesday. The right-hander hasn’t earned a win since Sept. 15, 2005, and hasn’t won in his career as a starter.
However, he has turned in two straight strong outings, including six scoreless innings of one-hit ball in Atlanta on April 12.
“The kid did an outstanding job,” Acta told the Nationals’ official Web site. “I feel bad that the kid could not get a victory for that effort.”
Wednesday’s start was Bergmann’s first against Philadelphia. He has also made three career relief appearances against them, going 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 6 2-3 total innings in those outings.
The Nationals (6-13) were off Monday after dropping the final two games of their three-game set in Florida. Ryan Zimmerman hit a ninth-inning grand slam and Jesus Flores chipped in a pair of doubles for his first major league hits in Sunday’s 12-6 loss to the Marlins.
Zimmerman, who finished second in NL rookie of the year voting last season, had two hits in each game in the series and is batting .333 (11-for-33) during a seven-game hitting streak. Before that, Zimmerman was batting just .180 (9-for-50).