Nationals 4, Phillies 2

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Shawn Hill wouldn’t let an injury to his non-throwing arm keep him off the mound. It’s a good thing for Washington because Hill’s pitching like an ace.

Hill pitched eight-plus innings, Dmitri Young homered and the Nationals snapped Philadelphia’s five-game winning streak with a 4-2 win Thursday.

“A terrific performance,” Washington manager Manny Acta said.

Aaron Rowand hit a solo shot for the Phillies to extend his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.

Hill (2-2) gave up two runs and four hits, striking out three in his 14th career start. The right-hander hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his five starts this season.

Hill missed the 2005 season after having a ligament replaced in his elbow and was shut down after only six starts last year because of elbow problems. He strained his left shoulder on a dive in his last start, but didn’t feel any ill effects on the mound.

“The shoulder is a little tight, a little tired, but no big deal,” Hill said. “We really needed the win and I wanted to give the bullpen a rest.”

Chad Cordero got three outs, fanning Wes Helms with a runner on third to record his second save in four chances.

Coming off a complete-game, 15-strikeout performance at Cincinnati last Saturday, Cole Hamels (2-1) had his shortest outing this season. The left-hander allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.

“Coming off a phenomenal performance, it gives you confidence,” Hamels said. “I was feeling good for five innings then I just got out of my comfort zone.”

The Nationals went ahead 1-0 in the fourth when Young hit an opposite-field homer to right-center, one pitch after left fielder Pat Burrell threw Ryan Zimmerman out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.

Austin Kearns followed with a drive that nearly reached the seats in left-center, but he settled for a double. Hamels struck out Ryan Church to end the inning.

Washington chased Hamels with three runs in the sixth. Ronnie Belliard and Zimmerman started the inning with consecutive singles and advanced on a wild pitch. After Young lined out, Kearns was intentionally walked.

Church then sliced a two-run single to left to make it 3-0. Michael Restovich walked to the load the bases again and Brian Schneider walked to force in a run. Geoff Geary came in and struck out Hill and retired Josh Wilson on a fly to center.

Despite the loss, Philadelphia won its second straight series and is 9-12 after a terrible 4-11 start.

“If you can win two out of three, two out of three, next thing you know, you’ll be over .500,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Notes

The Nationals didn’t score in the first inning, extending their NL record streak to start the season to 22 games. … Burrell hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth for the Phillies. … Burrell’s assist in the third was the team’s major league-leading ninth outfield assist. … Geary has stranded 16 of 17 inherited runners.

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