Roark, offense carry Nationals past Phillies

Roark, offense carry Nationals past Phillies

WASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark kept the Phillies off the board on Saturday, and the Nationals' offense did the rest, as Washington routed Philadelphia, 8-0, at Nationals Park.

Roark was the game's star, throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits and striking out seven. The Phillies threatened in the second and third, but after that Roark cruised to his best outing since April.

Meanwhile, Washington's lineup went to town against Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola. The Nationals scored four runs in the second inning off Nola on a smattering of singles. Roark's squeeze bunt scored a run and he later came around on Bryce Harper's single for a 4-0 lead.

Nationals' four-run 2nd inning

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"The play of the game is when [Roark] got that two-strike bunt down that kind of opened the gates," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "I think guys were more excited about that than anything."

Washington chased Nola from the game with two outs in the fourth inning.

"Nola just didn't look in sync," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "There was something about his rhythm that just didn't look right. He didn't make that many bad pitches, but he didn't look like he was in sync."

Washington added three more runs in the fifth off relievers Elvis Araujo and Andrew Bailey and another one in the eighth off Hector Neris. Clint Robinson and Michael Taylor had three hits apiece for the Nationals, and Anthony Rendon and Stephen Drew both drove in two runs. Overall, six different Washington players drove in runs.

Rendon's two-run double

With Sammy Solis pitching for the Nationals in the eighth inning, Daniel Murphy let a runner reach base on a defensive miscue and cost the team a potential double play one batter later with a bobble on a routine roller. But the second baseman redeemed himself soon after, when he made a diving stop of a hard-hit grounder and threw out Cody Asche to end the inning. Blake Treinen finished the game for Washington with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Roarin' Roark: The Nationals' starter found himself in trouble two batters into the second inning, as the Phillies opened with a single and double. Roark took control from there with three straight swinging strikeouts.

Roark escapes jam

"That was a big confidence-builder," Roark said. "I was just trying to attack the guys, keep them off balance, make them off guard. I made my pitches and [catcher Wilson Ramos] called them perfectly."

Another scary moment came in the third with runners on first and third, only to see Roark deftly evade damage. Instead of Philadelphia scoring first, Washington tallied four runs in the second inning. Roark drove home one run after reaching on a bunt and later scored. More >

Roark's RBI sac bunt

Big inning dooms Nola: All of the damage against Nola came during the second inning, when the Nationals strung together four hits and ended up with four runs. Nola hit Ramos with a pitch to begin the inning, then gave up a single to Robinson and, after a Rendon fielder's choice, another single to Drew. Roark drove in a run with a squeeze bunt, and Taylor and Bryce Harper added RBI singles to cap off the rally. Nola finally escaped the inning but was pulled with two outs in the fourth, having allowed seven hits and four runs.

"I felt pretty wild with all my pitches," Nola said. "My curveball was hanging a lot. They put some good swings on those, especially when I had two strikes. It was too much in the zone. And my fastball, my two-seamer was running too much. I couldn't really control it much. And just getting behind guys really hurt me today." More >

Super Sub: Drew started for the second straight game, as Baker rested some of his regulars. Filling in for shortstop Danny Espinosa, Drew had two RBIs -- including a run-scoring single in the second that gave Washington a 1-0 lead. Over the last two games, Drew was 3-for-6 with a double, home run and four RBI. Giving others a break is one thing, but providing real production is another.

Drew's RBI single

Missed opportunity: The Phillies' best run-scoring opportunity came in the second inning, when Asche singled and Cameron Rupp doubled to lead off the inning. But Roark buckled down and fanned Cesar Hernandez, Nola and Peter Bourjos consecutively, holding Philadelphia off the board. The Phillies never got a better chance the rest of the way.

"That second inning kind of set the tone for us," Mackanin said. "Second and third nobody out, and he struck out the side. We just didn't hit."

"You've been seeing my lineups. I've been dipsy-doodling every day. Is that a word?" -- Mackanin, on trying to figure out the Phillies' optimal lineup

Phillies:The Phillies will send lefty Adam Morgan to the mound on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET, as they seek to avoid a sweep against the Nationals. Morgan has struggled this year, recording a 6.70 ERA in 42 2/3 innings. But he earned a quality start on Monday against the Cubs, pitching six innings and allowing three runs in a 6-4 Phillies loss.

Nationals: Joe Ross (5-4, 2.92 ERA) is doing nice work in his sophomore campaign, but he's an All-Star level performer and then some against the Phillies. The right-hander is 2-0 with a tidy 0.61 ERA in two road starts against Philadelphia. As for his previous start, Ross gave up five runs in four innings in a no-decision against the White Sox on Tuesday.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for based in Washington and covered the Phillies on Saturday.

Ben Standig is a contributor to based in Baltimore and covered the Nationals on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.