Werth has night to remember in Nationals victory

Harvey Valentine, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON - Midway through Friday night's game against the Phillies, Washington's Jayson Werth wasn't even aware he was one hit away from a career milestone.
He found out however and proceeded to make memorable in more ways than one.
Werth reached 1,000 career hits with a two-run homer as part of five-run seventh-inning rally that propelled the Nationals past Philadelphia for an 8-5 win on Saturday night.
The right fielder began the night with 997 hits and singled in the fourth and sixth innings before his two-out home run down the left field line off reliever Zach Miner put the Nationals ahead 6-4.
"That was a good one," said Werth, explaining he didn't know about the 1,000 hit scenario until he was checking video following his previous at-bat.
"Definitely a milestone. When you set out playing this game however many years ago, that was one thing, a benchmark you put on the list of things you want to accomplish. It was good."
Ian Desmond, Denard Span and Wilson Ramos added two hits apiece for Washington (56-60).
Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown homered for Philadelphia (52-64), which has lost eight of 10 overall and 10 in a row on the road.
Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel was asked if losses like Saturday's - in which his team surrendered a 4-0 lead - make him want to scream.
"It kind of gets me in a screaming mood, but trying to keep my cool," he said. "When you start losing and you find different ways to lose every night it becomes tough."
Werth, the National League's Player-of-the-Month for July, has been on an extended hot streak. Since returning from the disabled list on June 2, he's hitting .355 with 13 homers and 38 RBI and a .440 on-base percentage.
"He's absolutely raking right now," teammate Bryce Harper said. "I'm just trying to touch his bat so I can get some hits in there."
Rookie Tanner Roark (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for his first major league win and Rafael Soriano worked a scoreless ninth for his 29th save.
With Washington trailing 4-3 in the seventh, pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi led off with a walk against reliever Jake Diekman (0-3). After Span bunted him to second, Lombardozzi stole third and Ryan Zimmerman walked. Harper, given the squeeze sign, then popped a bunt between first and second. Lombardozzi scored the tying run and Harper was safe at first as Chase Utley forced Zimmerman at second.
Manuel summoned Miner to face Werth, who sent Miner's first pitch over the wall in left, earning a curtain call from the Nationals Park crowd.
"Anytime you gain respect from the fans, from the city, that's definitely a good thing," Werth said. "I know that first season was tough for everybody, more so for myself than anybody. Then last year with the injury. It's been a tough road, but I'm excited about the future here in Washington and I'm glad the city and the fans can see what I'm all about."
Anthony Rendon followed with a two-run single off Miner to put Washington up 8-4.
Brown's homer in the eighth made it 8-5.
Phillies starter Cliff Lee came in having lost three straight with a 5.92 ERA in his last four starts. With the no-decision, he avoided losing four straight starts for the first time since July 2007.
The left-hander allowed three runs and 10 base runners in six innings via seven hits, two walks and a hit batter. He threw 97 pitches while striking out six.
"They fouled off a lot of pitches and I wasn't really locating as well as I would have liked, so it was a tough combination with them having tough at-bats and fouling off pitches and working counts," Lee said.
Washington starter Taylor Jordan allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings.
Trailing 4-2, the Nationals pulled within one in the sixth. Werth singled with one out and later scored on a single by Ramos.
The Phillies batted around in the second. Brown led off with a single and Ruf deposited Jordan's first pitch into the left field seats for his sixth homer of the year.
Cody Asche then reached on an infield hit and went to second on a groundout. Michael Martinez followed with a smash that deflected off Jordan's glove for an infield single, putting runners on first and third.
Lee bunted on the first pitch and Asche, running on contact, was safe as Ramos could not hold Jordan's throw to the plate. Jimmy Rollins followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0.
"We did some good things tonight early in the game," Manuel said. "Our young guys hit the ball good, things like that. We scored some runs, but we couldn't add on."
The Nationals trimmed the deficit in the fourth on an RBI-single from Werth and a ground out by Adam LaRoche.
NOTES: Manuel remains stuck on 999 career wins. ... Philadelphia RHP Roy Halladay, recovering from shoulder surgery, pitched a simulated game in Clearwater, Fla., throwing 75 pitches. "He came out of it great," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said, adding that Halladay's next step is a bullpen session on Monday. ... Brown has a five-game hitting streak. ... Washington's Bryce Harper, 20, began play needing two RBIs to reach 100 for his career. ... RHP Kyle Kendrick (10-8, 4.36) opposes Washington's Stephen Strasburg (5-9, 3.01) in Sunday's series finale.

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