Cesar with the Dagger Shot to Down Nationals

Chris Heisey had just lined a shot into the left field bleachers to send the game into a 2-2 tie after seven innings. Joe Blanton came on to relieve Tanner Roark and again the Nationals bullpen failed the team. Blanton hit Freddy Galvis on a 1-2 count and Cesar Hernandez launched a high shot into the right field bleachers to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead and the eventual win over the Nationals.

The Nationals hit Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson hard but the balls died in the outfield grass for 11 flyouts, a couple of those outs finding the warning track dirt. They only managed four hits off Hellickson, two of them by Tanner Roark. In the third inning with Lobaton on first and the infield playing in for a bunt Roark pushed a ball into right field for a hit. Anthony Rendon bounced a single into left field to score Lobaton with the first run of the game.

The Phillies came right back in the top of the fourth. Back to back bunt singles by Cesar Hernandez and Howie Kendrick put the first two runners on base. Odubel Herrera hit a slow roller past the diving Rendon, the ball rolling into the corner for a double to score Hernandez to tie the game. A Maikel Franco ground out to second scored the Phillies second run. With a runner on third and just one out Michael Saunders popped to short and Tommy Joseph grounded to third to keep the score at 2-1.

Roark went seven innings and allowed just four hits, two of them bunt singles and three hits in the fourth inning. Hellickson gave up four hits as well, but lots of solid strokes that resulted in fly outs.

Game Notes: Wilmer Difo made a number of nice plays at short. He is showing he can play the position defensively. Unfortunately his bat has been a little soft, another 0 for day dropping his average to .200…If Maikel Franco had some speed he could have had two infield hits. Difo robbed him of a hit with a back hand stop in the second inning and Daniel Murphy robbed him of a hit up the middle…It was a rag tag lineup for the Nationals filled with backups. The last four hitters in the lineup were hitting .000. Difo was replacing Turner because of injury, Heisey and Michael Turner were in the outfield replacing Werth and Eaton and Lobaton was replacing Wieters behind the plate. The revised lineup was quiet with the bats as far as hits, though many balls were hit hard…Michael Taylor hit two long balls to the warning track in center field but they were both tracked down and caught by Odubel Herrera…The Nationals bullpen has given up 10 homeruns in the last 11 games with Blanton giving up three homeruns…Daniel Murphy ended his 10 game hitting streak with an 0 for 4 day.

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