Philly Sports Live

Bullpen Fails, Phils Fall

The Phillies and Nationals revved up their division rivalry tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

Things looked good early for the Phils, when with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on base, right-fielder Marlon Byrd took Stephen Strasburg deep to right field for a three run Phillies’ lead.

As was the case on Tuesday night, these were the only runs the Phils would score all game.

Still, an early 3-0 lead figured to be enough with Cliff Lee on the hill.

The Nationals got on the board in the top of the third when left-fielder Tyler Moore went yard for a solo shot, one of his two hits on the night.

With the score 3-1 in the top of the fifth, and Moore on third, center-fielder Denard Span stepped in to face Lee. Just as Lee began his wind up, Span attempted to call time out and did not get it.

Lee followed through with his pitch, one that nearly hit Span in the side. Span did not appreciate the gesture from Lee, and a brief stare-down unfolded.

Span would ground out to Utley at second, but Moore would cross the plate to make it 3-2. Span had words for Lee on his way back to the dugout, resulting in both benches & bullpens clearing.

No punches were thrown, and things quickly calmed down.

Lee finished with seven innings pitched, five strikeouts and two runs allowed on four hits. He departed with a 3-2 lead and six outs left to get.

The Phillies bullpen, again, would falter.

Mike Adams began the eighth inning and did not record an out. Span led off with a single, and promptly stole second. He would score on a single to center by Anthony Rendon to tie the game at three.

After another single by Jayson Werth, Ryne Sandberg pulled Adams in favor of Jake Diekman. Diekman would allow a single to the first man he faced, first-baseman Adam LaRoche. That scored Rendon for a 4-3 Nats lead.

Shortstop Ian Desmond would bat next, and he doubled home Werth to make it 5-3. All runs in the eighth were charged to Adams, whose season earned run average ballooned to 8.31.

The Nationals outhit the Phillies 10-8, and the Fightins’ went 1-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving six men on base.

Once again the team failed to make the most of a quality start by Cliff Lee.

They are now 13-14 on the year, and 3.5 games behind first place Atlanta.

The Phils and Nats clash again tomorrow at The Bank.

A.J. Burnett goes for the Phillies, Tanner Roark for Washington.

First pitch will be at 7:05.

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