WASHINGTON -- The Phillies’ quest to reach the .500 mark lives on after a 5-2 loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
Kyle Kendrick was not sharp and neither was the defense when the Nats rallied for four runs in the decisive fifth inning.
The Phils have been held to two or fewer runs in 19 of 48 games. They are 23-25. Washington is 25-23.
This was the first of 19 meetings between the two clubs.
Starting pitching report
Kendrick suffered his second straight loss to fall to 4-3 on the season. His command was not good; he needed 107 pitches to get through five innings. He threw just 62 strikes. The right-hander allowed 12 base runners on eight hits and four walks. Kendrick walked just two batters in his first three starts this month. He has walked eight in his last two. He has given up nine runs in his last two starts after giving up just eight in his previous six.
Jordan Zimmermann stayed on course for the All-Star Game. He held the Phils to two runs over seven innings and did not walk a batter. Zimmermann has allowed two or fewer runs in nine of 10 starts. He is 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA.
The Phillies, looking for middle relief help, had to be encouraged by Mike Stutes coming up from Triple A and throwing two shutout innings.
Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano closed it out for Washington.
At the plate
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Ryan Howard had a leadoff double and scored on a one-out single by Domonic Brown, whose 25 RBIs are tied with Howard and Chase Utley for the team lead.
The Phillies got four singles in the fifth inning but scored just one run -- on a sacrifice fly by Erik Kratz. Ben Revere had a chance to do some one-out damage but grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end the frame.
The Nats scored four times off Kendrick in the bottom of the fifth inning. Adam LaRoche had an RBI triple off the center-field wall with one out to tie the game. It came on a 3-0 pitch. Revere got to the wall but appeared to overrun the ball and couldn’t make the catch. The Nats ended up scoring three runs with two outs on a single by Kurt Suzuki and a double by No. 8 hitter Steve Lombardozzi on a 2-0 pitch. Tyler Moore preceded Lombardozzi’s two-run double with an infield hit. Phils third baseman Michael Young could have gotten the third out on the slow roller, but had trouble getting the ball out of his glove.
In the field
Revere and Young had a chance to make plays that would have limited the damage in the fifth inning, but neither did.
Revere threw out Moore at the plate in the fourth. Kratz hung on to the ball as Moore crashed into him.
Michael Martinez was added to take Utley’s roster spot. More on the Phils’ decision to bring up Martinez and not Darin Ruf here: (see story). The team says Mike Adams will come off the DL on Sunday (see story).
Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.00) opposes Dan Haren (4-5, 5.54) on Saturday night.