Phillies 7, Nationals 6, 10 innings

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—David Bell and Bobby Abreu turned boos into cheers with the long ball.

No surprise. The Phillies thrive on going deep.

A couple of walks and a single to a cap a rally? That peculiar run could be just what Philadelphia needs to get its season going.

Ryan Howard’s RBI single in the 10th inning completed a comeback and led the Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-6 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

“That was a great win. It wasn’t easy,” said Bell, who hit one of three Philly homers. “Just to get a win in that situation was big.”

Abreu opened the 10th with a walk off Mike Stanton (0-2) and moved to second on Chase Utley’s one-out walk. Howard then ripped a single to right to give the Phillies only their second home win in eight games.

Ryan Franklin (1-1) worked a scoreless 10th for his first win in Philadelphia. It was the Phillies first win this season when trailing after seven innings (1-7).

“There’s a reason you’re supposed to play well at home,” Bell said. “If you can do that, you’ll be in good shape.”

Bell had been booed all season by the home crowd after a poor season and his .225 average, but they erupted when his homer cleared the right-field wall. Abreu misplayed a couple of balls the previous night and earned mock cheers each time he caught the ball. The real ones came after his homer in the eighth started the rally.

“I just go out there and do my job,” Abreu said of the boos. “I’m just trying to help my team win.”

Ryan Church homered for the third straight game and has four homers and nine RBIs in the last three games.

Jose Vidro went 3-for-5 with three RBIs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game winning streak.

Howard and Abreu also homered for the Phillies off starter Livan Hernandez.

Hernandez was afflicted by the long ball in an otherwise solid outing, allowing eight hits, walking one and striking out seven in 7 1-3 innings. He gave up a two-run homer to Abreu in the eighth that made it 6-5 and walked Pat Burrell before he was pulled for Joey Eischen.

Eischen walked Utley and Howard to load the bases. Pinch hitter David Dellucci hit a slow rolling fielder’s choice grounder off Gary Majewski that tied the game at 6. Alex Gonzalez grounded out to end the rally.

Washington’s bullpen walked four batters in two innings

“They didn’t get the job done tonight,” Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. “They didn’t give us a chance. You can’t defend walks.”

Too bad the Nationals couldn’t have left Hernandez in there to keep hitting. The career .236 batter hit a solo homer in the third off Gavin Floyd and scored on doubles in the fifth and seventh.

“If we could have gotten him out, (Floyd) would have been OK,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Hernandez doubled in the seventh on an 0-2 pitch and advanced on Alfonso Soriano’s single. That chased Floyd, who allowed six runs and nine hits.

Vidro followed with a two-run single off Aaron Fultz to give the Nationals a 6-3 lead.

Church, who a hit a grand slam in the ninth on Tuesday, hit a solo shot in the second inning. Howard then connected in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run shot.

The teams again exchanged homers, with Hernandez hitting his eighth career homer in the third, and Bell added a solo shot in the fourth to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.

“I kind of gave him a couple of cookies,” Floyd said of Hernandez.

Hernandez opened the fifth with a double. After an out, Vidro’s foul pop behind the plate was dropped by catcher Sal Fasano. Vidro ripped the next pitch to right to tie the game and Jose Guillen, back in the lineup after missing four straight games because of a left oblique strain, added a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 lead.


One night after Big East co-champion Villanova was honored at the 76ers game, coach Jay Wright threw out the first pitch. … The Phillies had another $1 hot dog promotion. They sold a whopping 52,678 dogs at their last one on April 9 and the walk-up crowd of 8,400 fans Wednesday was the largest in the ballpark’s history. … Robinson had a 10-minute conversation Wednesday with general manager Jim Bowden, who was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after allegedly running a stop sign while in Florida. Robinson said Bowden was doing “as well as he can under the circumstances.” … Robinson remained stuck on 999 career wins.

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