Nats win ugly, 9-6 over Phillies

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg described his team's 9-6 loss to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night as "kind of a wild game."
Winning pitcher Gio Gonzalez said it was "weird."
Nationals manager Davey Johnson was more blunt.
"It was an ugly game, one of the ugliest I've seen," he said. "That's not the way to win a pennant, I'll tell you that."
The Nats, trying to inch back into the National League wild-card hunt, benefited from nine walks and a hit batter. They also overcame three errors and four wild pitches to survive a three-hour, 38-minute affair, the Phillies' longest nine-inning game of the season.
"A win doesn't have to be pretty," Gonzalez said. "It just has to be a win. We turn the page, move forward and hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit smoother."
Once again, Johnson was a little more realistic.
"There (are) a few cracks in the dam," he said. "I'm trying to plug them, but I'm running out of fingers."
Wilson Ramos homered and drove in four runs for the Nats. Adam LaRoche and Denard Span reached base four times and rookie Corey Brown hit a pinch-homer for Washington.
Span went 3-for-6, extending his career-best hitting streak to 16 games and equaling the longest streak by a Nat this season. LaRoche also hit in 16 straight.
Ramos hit a three-run homer in the second inning and drove in a run by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.
Philadelphia's Cody Asche went 3-for-4, and his solo homer in the eighth off Tyler Clippard cut Washington's lead, which was once 7-2, to 8-6.
Washington added a run in the ninth when Phillies reliever B.J. Rosenberg threw a wild pitch while striking out Bryce Harper.
Nationals closer Rafael Soriano blanked Philadelphia in the bottom of the inning to post his 37th save.
Gonzalez (9-6) scuffled through 5 2/3 innings for the victory. He allowed five runs (one earned) and five hits while striking out six and walking three. He threw 118 pitches, 73 for strikes. He also had two wild pitches. Reliever Ryan Mattheus threw the other two.
Philadelphia starter Ethan Martin (2-4) worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and four hits. He walked five and struck out two.
Sandberg called it "a frustrating game on the pitching side of it."
"There were a lot of pitches thrown," he said. "We gave them a lot of bases on balls, and they responded with hits."
The Nationals broke on top courtesy of Ramos' three-run homer in the second, his 10th home run of the year. But the Phillies answered with Asche's two-run single in the fourth.
Martin and reliever Justin DeFratus each walked in a run in the fifth, allowing Washington to extend its lead to 5-2.
They made it 7-2 on RBI singles by Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond in the sixth.
NOTES: Martin, who has allowed 11 hits and 11 runs over his last 9 1/3 innings, has lasted five innings or fewer in six of his seven major league starts. ... Asche has hit in 10 of his last 11 games, batting .375 with a homer and nine RBIs over that stretch. He also has four multi-hit games over his last six. ... Earlier in the day, the Nationals selected the contract of SS Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse and recalled Brown, LHP Xavier Cedeno, INF/OF Jeff Kobernus and OF Eury Perez. ... Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins did not start, but flied out as a pinch hitter in the ninth. He is hitting .182 in 19 games since Sandberg took over in mid-August, but the interim manager nonetheless said before the game he likes the strides Rollins is making at the plate. "I see him working on things in the cage and applying them to the game," Sandberg said. Moreover, Sandberg said, "I've noticed Jimmy being engaged. I've noticed him being into it." ... Phillies LHP Mauricio Robles made his major league debut, allowing two runs (both unearned) in one inning. ... Chase Utley and Pete Orr both had pinch-hit singles for the Phillies, with Utley's hit driving in a run in the sixth. The Phillies have 47 pinch hits this season. They began the day first in total bases by pinch hitters and second in hits.

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