Phils try to bounce back and win series with Nationals
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Phillies got heated for all of the wrong reasons on Saturday.
The Phillies will try to cool down their emotions on Sunday afternoon and lock down a series win over the Washington Nationals in the finale of a four-game series.
Philadelphia outscored Washington 12-5 in winning the first two of this set, but saw the Nats click on the mound and at the plate in Saturday's meeting. Washington had 14 hits and kept Philadelphia off the scoreboard in an 11-0 decision.
Phils starter A.J. Burnett was ejected with two outs in the second inning and was charged with five runs -- just one earned -- in his third straight losing decision.
Upset over a called pitch during Anthony Rendon's second-inning at-bat, one that ended with Rendon smacking a two-out, three-run homer, Burnett threw a pitch outside to Jayson Werth and then gestured at home plate umpire Chris Guccione, who quickly tossed the starter. Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg came out to argue and was also ejected.
"You know, he can't get tossed there on his part, but I thought the umpire was a little early there on the ejection," said Sandberg. "So I thought both were wrong out there."
While Philadelphia had won three of four coming in, Washington won for just the second time in six contests and leads the NL East by 2 1/2 games over Atlanta.
Every Nationals starter, including pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, had at least one hit and either an RBI or a run scored, with Rendon notching three hits and four RBI.
Zimmermann pitched seven innings and allowed five hits while striking out eight. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a run scored and two walks.
"I take pride in everything I do, especially my bunting," said Zimmermann. "If I can get a guy over that's great, and if I can get a walk or hit it's that much better."
The Phillies used four relievers to spell Burnett for the final 6 1/3 innings, so Sandberg would love to see Cole Hamels eat some innings today. The left- hander had no problems doing that last time out, blanking the New York Mets over eight innings of six-hit ball on Tuesday in a 6-0 victory.
Hamels struck out eight without a walk, moving to 3-0 in his last three starts with a 0.78 earned run average. He has given up two runs and fanned 27 over 23 innings in that span.
The 30-year-old has not lost since July 2 and has won each of his past four decisions to get to 6-5 on the year with a 2.55 ERA.
Hamels is 15-6 with a 2.63 ERA in his career versus Washington and has faced the club just once this season prior to today. He took a no-decision on July 12, charged with three runs over seven innings.
Washington turns to right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who leads the NL with 167 strikeouts but is winless in his last five outings.
Strasburg suffered his third loss in a row on Tuesday, a tough-luck 3-0 decision to Miami. The 26-year-old yielded one run on four hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out four while falling to 7-9 with a 3.55 ERA.
Strasburg is 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA in nine career starts against the Phillies.
Washington is 7-5 against Philadelphia this season and swept a three-game series in DC from June 3-5.
08/03 08:45:13 ET