Philly Sports Live

A.J. Burnett’s Punchout

A.J. Burnett showed tonight the very reason why the Phillies signed him this past off-season. After struggling mightily in every start post all-star break, Burnett was dominant tonight.

It doesn’t seem too long ago that Burnett was giving the Phillies fits in the 2009 World Series as a member of the New York Yankees. The man also has a no-hitter to his credit back in his early days as a Florida Marlin.

Burnettt gave fans a glimpse into the past on this night.

He changed speeds brilliantly, mixing up his fastball and off-speed curveball to keep the Washington Nationals off balance. Burnett came into tonight as the league leader in walks, but surrendered only one. He also allowed only one run on just three hits. He would finish with a new season high in strikeouts tonight with 12.

The Phillies offense provided enough run support tonight, scoring three runs for Burnett. They benefited from two solo home runs by Cody Asche and Carlos Ruiz. Dom Brown also chipped in an RBI single.

Brown did cost the Phils a run tonight, and it could have been two.

In the top of the seventh inning, he booted what should have been a flyball out. He glided under it, but had it go off his glove. That put the lead-off man on second with nobody out. Burnett, however, was able to induce three straight fly outs to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Brown led off the inning by hustling out a double. However, the replay showed that the tag was applied as Brown’s momentum took him off the bag, rendering him out. Ruiz’s home run followed, and the Phils’ could have led by three.

Instead, they led 3-1 after seven innings.

Jake Diekman and Jonathan Papelbon came on in the eighth & ninth to preserve the win for Burnett.

Papelbon earned his 32nd save in the process, though he did allow a ninth inning run, making it a 3-2 final.

The Phils clash with the Nats again tomorrow night, when Cole Hamels takes the mound against Gio Gonzalez for Washington. First pitch 7:05.

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