Postseason picture:

Nationals 3, Phillies 2

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA - Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven strong innings and made a crucial fielding play to earn his National League-leading 16th victory Wednesday night, as the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2.

Steve Lombardozzi drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning fielder's choice, giving the Nats their third victory in the last four games.

One inning earlier, Ryan Zimmerman tied the game with a solo homer off Phillies reliever Zach Miner. It was the 17th homer of the year for Zimmerman.

Zimmermann (16-8) allowed seven hits and two runs, while striking out five and walking one. And with the score tied at 2-2, a runner at second and two outs in the seventh, he ranged off the mound as Cesar Hernandez grounded a ball in the hole between first and second.

Lombardozzi, the second baseman, fielded the ball and after spinning made a one-hop throw that Zimmermann grabbed on the run as he narrowly beat Hernandez to the bag.

Washington reliever Craig Stammen wriggled out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the eighth. He struck out Darin Ruf for the second out, but the ball bounced away from catcher Jhonatan Solano.

The runner at third, Chase Utley, attempted to score, but Solano dove and tagged him before Utley could reach the plate with a head-first slide.

Nats closer Rafael Soriano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 38th save.

Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, making his third start since returning from shoulder surgery, struggled with his command in the first two innings, when he threw 48 pitches. But Halladay, nicked for a run in the first, retired 12 of 13 in one stretch and departed after six innings with a 2-1 lead.

He threw 99 pitches, 57 for strikes, but allowed just three hits while striking out five and walking five.

Miner allowed the game-tying homer to Zimmerman in the seventh, and the Nats scratched out the eventual winning run against Jake Diekman (1-4) in the eighth, without the benefit of a hit.

Washington's Adam LaRoche drove in a run with a first-inning sacrifice fly, but Phillies rookie Cesar Hernandez doubled home two runs in the second.

NOTES: Washington OF Bryce Harper did not start after getting treatment on his injured left hip earlier in the day. ... Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said before the game that RHP B.J. Rosenberg, who rode a 9 1/3-inning scoreless streak into Wednesday's game, has shown improvement in his velocity, location and breaking ball of late. "He's commanding both pitches," Sandberg said. "He's ahead of hitters. He's had the opportunity since he came back (from the minors) to pitch in big situations." ... The Phillies are off Thursday for the first time in 21 days. ... The Nationals announced before the game that RHP Tanner Roark would start Saturday in Miami, with RHP Ross Ohlendorf moving to the bullpen.
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