Brown rescues Phillies in win over Nationals

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Domonic Brown once again came through for the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night, this time singling home the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Washington Nationals, 5-4.
Brown, who had hit 12 of his 19 homers in May to earn National League Player of the Month honors, lifted his club after Washington's Chad Tracy hit a solo homer off Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon with two outs in the top of the ninth to tie the game.
The single, a soft liner back through the middle off reliever Fernando Abad (0-2), was the first walkoff hit of Brown's career.
"It's priceless," he said. "I'm just trying to stay as short and quick as I possibly can, especially with a tough lefty like Abad."
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said it was "a tough loss after a good comeback," and added that Brown hit a high changeup from Abad.
Philadelphia's Ben Revere opened the bottom of the inning with a single. After Michael Young flied out, Jimmy Rollins singled Revere to third. Pinch hitter Steven Lerud struck out, but Brown singled on a 2-2 pitch from Abad.
Ryan Howard went 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs for the Phillies, who won for just the third time in 10 games. Delmon Young also drove in two runs for Philadelphia.
John Lannan, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, had not pitched since April 17 because of a strained quadriceps tendon near his left knee. He started and lasted five innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four and walking one.
"It felt awesome (to be back)," said Lannan, who added that he gleaned "no extra emotion" from facing his former team. "I wish I went a little deeper in the ballgame, but I just looked for progress. The fifth inning (when he set the Nats down in order) felt pretty good."
Michael Stutes followed Lannan to the mound and retired all six hitters he faced. Mike Adams allowed a two-out RBI single to Ian Desmond in the eighth, cutting the Phils' lead to 4-3, but Antonio Bastardo retired pinch hitter Adam LaRoche to end the inning.
Papelbon then set down the first two hitters he faced in the ninth, but Tracy lofted his homer into the right-field seats, just inside the foul pole.
It was the third homer of the season for Tracy, who began the game hitting .141, but his second in his last three games.
"Personally it was good for me, but nobody's happy right now," he said. "A loss is a loss."
Papelbon blew his first save in 14 opportunities but earned the victory, his first decision of the season.
Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth singled home a run against his former team in the first, but Howard drove a 2-2 pitch from Dan Haren into the right-field seats, some 430 feet away, leading off the bottom of the second.
That homer, the eighth of the season for Howard, ended a string of 71 straight homerless plate appearances, his last homer having come on May 29 against the Red Sox. It was also just his second home run in 131 plate appearances.
"It felt good," he said. "I've been trying to put together some good at-bats and let the power come with it comes."
The Phillies went ahead courtesy of Delmon Young's two-run double in the third, but the Nationals cut the gap to 3-2 on back-to-back doubles by Kurt Suzuki and Steve Lombardozzi in the fourth.
Howard then extended the Phils' lead to 4-2 with an RBI single in the fifth.
NOTES: To make room for Lannan on the roster, the Phillies placed LHP Jeremy Horst on the disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained left elbow. ... Suzuki ended an 0-for-15 slump with a second-inning single. ... Phils general manager Ruben Amaro told reporters before the game that 2B Chase Utley, out since May 20 with a strained oblique, could begin a rehab assignment "in a day or two." ... Amaro also said that C Carlos Ruiz, out since May 19 with a hamstring pull, could return as soon as Wednesday. ... A moment of silence was observed before the game to honor former Phillies C Stan Lopata, who died Saturday at age 87.

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