Nationals 6, Phillies 1

David Driver, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Wilson Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman, a pair of hot hitters, crushed home runs, and emergency starter Ross Ohlendorf improved to 4-0 as the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 on Friday to continue a last-gasp playoff push.
The Nationals (78-69) have won seven games in a row and have hit 15 home runs in their last five games. Washington is a season-best nine games above .500 and is 24-9 since Aug. 9, the best mark in the majors during that time.
Ohlendorf, filling in for Stephen Strasburg, allowed one run on five hits in five innings before being relieved by Craig Stammen in the sixth.
He had yielded nine hits and four runs in five innings in his last start Sept. 1 against the Mets, but he got plenty of offensive support against the Phillies (68-79).
Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick (12-11) lost his fifth straight decision, a career high, and is 0-3 at Nationals Park this year.
Ramos (three RBIs) has five homers in his last nine games, and Zimmerman, who had three hits, has gone deep nine times in the last 11 contests. Ian Desmond also drove in two runs, and Washington's Denard Span extended his hitting streak to 24 games with a single in the sixth.
Washington took a 6-1 lead in the fifth with three runs. The first run of the inning scored on an RBI infield single by Desmond, and two more came in when Ramos hit a wicked grounder off the leg of pitcher Luis Garcia with the bases loaded.
Zimmerman gave Washington a 3-1 lead with a solo homer in the third off Kendrick, who gave up six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. It was Zimmerman's ninth homer of the month but his first at home since Aug. 9, also against the Phillies. Zimmerman has 24 homers (just five at home) after his previous 10 homers came on the road.
Ramos hit a solo homer in the second to give Washington a 2-1 lead. The Nationals had tied the game at 1-1 in the first on an infield single by Desmond.
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Carlos Ruiz off Ohlendorf, who got the nod when Strasburg was scratched with "soreness in his forearm," according to manager Davey Johnson.
Strasburg, who is 7-9 with an ERA of 2.96, was playing catch in New York earlier this week and "had some discomfort," according to Johnson. "Doctors examined him in New York and didn't think it was anything serious."
Johnson said the soreness is in the upper part of the right forearm and not the lower part that led to Tommy John surgery in 2010. Johnson is confident he will be ready to start on Sept. 19. Strasburg was not available to comment.
The Nationals began the day 5 1/2 games back of the Cincinnati Reds for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
NOTES: Ramos made his 21st start in a row Friday ... "We are still in there," Zimmerman said of the playoff hunt. "We have to keep working hard. We have a long way to go. Hopefully one of those teams will slip." ... Freddy Galvis, who came up through the minor leagues as an infielder, made his ninth start in left field for the Phillies. He had 10 hits in his last 21 at bats through Thursday ... OF Roger Bernadina, who was not in the starting lineup for Philadelphia, returned to Washington after he was released by the Nationals on Aug. 19.

What to Read Next