Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Nationals 2

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Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Nationals 2

BOX SCORE

Michael Young went 3 for 4 with three doubles and an RBI, and Cliff Lee continued his season of brilliant pitching by scattering five hits in eight innings as the Phillies rolled to a 4-2 victory over Washington Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

After completing a wretched 3-7 road trip, the Phillies have returned home to win two straight over the Nationals and have moved into a tie for second place in the NL East.

At 35-37, the Phillies are seven games behind the first-place Braves in the division.

Starting pitching report
Lee struck out nine hitters without allowing a walk. He threw 19 first-pitch strikes to the 29 hitters he faced and had one three-ball count in the game.

Meanwhile, Lee pitched at least eight innings for the sixth time this season and he has made it through at least eight innings and allowed two or fewer runs in 60 starts since 2008.

With the win, Lee improves to 9-2 with a 2.53 ERA. He also pitched at least seven innings for the 13th time in his 15 starts this season.

Nats starter Ross Detwiler allowed all four runs on seven hits and two hit batsmen over six innings. Detwiler struck out four.

Bullpen report
A night after blowing his first save chance of the season, Jonathan Papelbon faced four hitters in the ninth for his 14th save.

At the plate
Young had three doubles in a game for the second time in his career. He is the first Phillie to get three doubles in a game this season and is the first to do it since John Mayberry on July 10, 2011.

Additionally, Ryan Howard added an RBI in the fourth inning and led off the eighth inning with a stand-up triple. Since the calendar flipped to June, Howard has a .448 on-base percentage.

Kevin Frandsen helped the Phillies extend their lead during the three-run sixth inning with a two-out, two-run, bases-loaded single.

The Nats got both of their runs on solo homers. Jayson Werth hit a pitch into the left-field seats with two outs in the fourth, while Jeff Kobernus hit a pinch homer with one out in the eighth.

Transactions
Before the game, catcher Carlos Ruiz was activated from the disabled list (see story). To make room for Ruiz on the 25-man roster, catcher Steven Lerud was optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley.

On the farm
Continuing his comeback bid in the Phillies’ farm system, three-time All-Star Carlos Zambrano pitched seven scoreless innings for Triple A Lehigh Valley at Toledo on Tuesday night (see story). He allowed five hits, walked one and had six strikeouts.

The Phillies have until July 1 to call up Zambrano to the big leagues. If they don’t, Zambrano can ask for his release.

Up next
The Phillies and Nationals finish the three-game series on Wednesday night when Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 3.76) takes on former Phillies minor-leaguer Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.40).

Kendrick lost to the Nationals on May 24, allowing five runs on eight hits and four walks in five innings. In 20 career appearances against Washington, Kendrick is 4-6 with a 4.90 ERA.

Gonzalez hasn’t faced the Phillies this season but is 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 innings against the Phils in his career.

Phillies prospect Nick Pivetta has long-awaited meeting with Roy Halladay

Phillies prospect Nick Pivetta has long-awaited meeting with Roy Halladay

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Phillies pitching prospect Nick Pivetta had one of those pinch-me moments Saturday.

He met his boyhood idol, Roy Halladay, at a charity event.

Someone had filled in Halladay that Pivetta had grown up in Canada and had regularly watched Toronto Blue Jays games on television. Pivetta loved watching Halladay pitch, as he talked about a few weeks ago here.

“I got to briefly shake his hand,” Pivetta said Sunday morning. “He knew I was like a stalker. He said, ‘Oh, right, you’re the guy from British Columbia.’ “

Halladay, who pitched for the Phils from 2010 to 2013, lives in the Clearwater area. Pivetta said he expected to speak more with Halladay in the coming days.

Halladay was honored at the 44th annual Clearwater For Youth banquet and Pivetta attended with a number of his teammates and Phillies officials. Phillies chairman David Montgomery and his wife Lyn were also honored for their charitable works.

Pivetta will pitch for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic in March.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
 
Don’t worry about the role.
 
Just pitch.
 
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
 
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
 
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
 
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
 
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
 
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
 
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
 
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.

There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
 
But for now, it’s just these four.
 
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.

Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
 
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
 
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
 
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
 
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
 
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
 
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
 
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”