WASHINGTON - Steve Lombardozzi had three hits and Jordan Zimmermann became the National League's first eight-game winner as Washington used a big fifth inning to beat Philadelphia 5-2 on Friday in the teams' first meeting of the season.
With regular second baseman Danny Espinosa out of the lineup resting a broken bone in his right wrist, Lombardozzi got the starting nod. He delivered his third and biggest hit of the night in the fifth inning, a two-run double off Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (4-3) to cap a four-run rally that gave the Nationals a three-run lead.
It was Washington's most productive frame since a four-run outburst in the third inning of an April 25 victory against Cincinnati.
That would be more than enough offense for Zimmermann (8-2), who tied Tampa Bay's Matt Moore for the major-league lead in wins by working his way out of some difficult situations during his seven innings of work.
None was bigger than the fifth, when, after allowing an sacrifice fly by Erik Kratz to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead, Zimmermann induced a bases-loaded double play to prevent any more runs and set the stage for his offense to wake up.
With Ryan Zimmerman on first after a fielder's choice in the fifth inning, Adam LaRoche followed with his first triple of the year to tie the score at 2-2. Kurt Suzuki delivered an RBI single to give the Nationals a 3-2 advantage, and after a Tyler Moore infield hit, Lombardozzi drove the ball into the right-center gap to break the game open.
Domonic Brown had two hits for the Phillies, who have averaged just 3.08 runs in 25 road games this season, the third-worst mark in the majors.
On a frigid, blustery night that made any ball in the air an adventure, Phillies slugger Ryan Howard helped his team strike early with a deep drive to center off Zimmermann for a double in the second inning.
Brown followed with an RBI single to right to give the Phillies a 1-0 advantage.
Washington squared the game in the third thanks to a lapse of control by Kendrick, who issued three straight walks to load the bases with one out. Ian Desmond followed with a sacrifice fly in foul territory, scoring Bryce Harper from third to make it 1-1, but Kendrick was able to get out of the jam without further damage.
The Nationals had another scoring opportunity erased in the fourth when Tyler Moore was thrown out at the plate in a violent collision with Philadelphia catcher Erik Kratz after a Lombardozzi single to shallow center. Ben Revere's throw easily beat Moore, and Kratz held on after Moore bowled him over.
Notes: Espinosa will miss the next two or three games as he attempts to heal a fractured bone in his right wrist suffered when he was hit by a pitch in mid-April. The Nationals plan on calling up a position player Saturday. ... Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley, on the 15-day DL with a mild oblique strain, plans to stay with the team as he recovers. "We really won't know for another week or so how it's recovering," he said. ... Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he wasn't going to shave until the Nationals started hitting better than their current .225 clip. "I figured I couldn't get any uglier, so what the heck," he said. ... Philadelphia recalled right-hander Michael Stutes from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday. Stutes missed most of the 2012 season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.