PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Nationals lost a game and two key players.
Michael Morse left with a right hand injury and Ian Desmond was a late scratch due to a right hamstring strain as Washington dropped its second straight, 4-2 to Kyle Kendrick and the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Washington, trailing by a run, had a chance to tie the game in the eighth inning when it put runners on first and second with one out. But consecutive strikeouts by Adam LaRoche and Jayson Werth allowed the Phillies, who used four pitchers in the frame, to get out of the jam.
``We had the right guys up at the right time, but just couldn't get it done,' Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
Maybe Morse or Desmond could have helped.
Morse departed in the first inning with a contusion on his right hand after being hit by a Kendrick pitch. X-rays were negative, but Johnson said Morse probably would miss ``a few days.'
``It's a bad bruise,' Johnson said. ``The good news is it's not broken.'
And Desmond was a late scratch due to an injury suffered in Wednesday's game against Atlanta. Desmond, who was replaced at shortstop by Danny Espinosa, was available to pinch-hit. Johnson said he is day-to-day.
``He has pain in his hamstring,' Johnson said. ``He stretched it a little.'
Tyler Moore homered for Washington, but the rest of the Nationals batters couldn't do much against Kendrick.
The right-hander pitched effectively for 6 2-3 innings and Jimmy Rollins drove in a pair of runs to lead Philadelphia to its fifth win in seven games.
Kendrick (7-9), one of seven pitchers used by Philadelphia, allowed four hits and struck out three. It was the third straight win for Kendrick, who has been bounced between the bullpen and starting rotation throughout his Phillies career.
``He pitched real good, changed speeds and had control of the game,' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. ``That goes to show you when you get focused and apply yourself, good things can happen.
``He's always had to fight to survive. He's proved he can pitch.'
Asked about remaining in the rotation into next season, Kendrick said, ``That's not my call. I just try go out there and give us a chance to win.'
One key to the right-hander's success of late has been working quickly on the mound.
``When he gets in a good rhythm, he moves the tempo and is in control of the game,' Manuel said. ``He can command the ball about where he wants to. He's relaxed more and his confidence is big.'
Moore snapped Kendrick's 21 2/3 innings scoreless streak with a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh. Kendrick retired the first two batters in the frame before walking Kurt Suzuki. Moore, pinch-hitting for Edwin Jackson, launched an 0-1 sinker into the seats in left to pull Washington within 3-2.
``After I took a strike I was looking for something to hit,' Moore said. ``I was trying to be aggressive. I know he's a good pitcher. I put the barrel of the bat on the ball and it went out. Fortunately I got a pitch I could handle.'
Jackson (11-8) gave up three runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in six innings to fall to 0-4 with a 5.32 ERA in four career starts against Philadelphia.
``Jackson was all over the place but he had pretty good stuff and kept us in the game,' Johnson said.
Jonathan Papelbon earned his 28th save in 31 chances with a scoreless ninth to preserve the win for Kendrick.
``My confidence has always been there,' Kendrick said. ``I'm just trusting my stuff, knowing how I am and trusting it.'
Said Johnson, ``He moves the ball around very well and doesn't give in to anybody.'
Rollins gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the fourth when he lined an opposite-field, two-out single to left off Jackson to score John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix, who barely beat the tag of Suzuki with an elusive head-first slide.
Chase Utley's RBI single in the first had given Philadelphia a 1-0 lead. The Phillies were positioned to add on to the lead, with runners on first and third and no outs, but Ryan Howard struck out and Domonic Brown grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Phillies used four pitchers in a scoreless eighth inning. Antonio Bastardo started the frame with a strikeout of Bryce Harper and was followed by Josh Lindblom, who walked Ryan Zimmerman. Raul Valdes then relieved Lindblom and surrendered a single to Roger Bernadina before striking out LaRoche. With two outs and runners on first and second, B.J. Rosenberg followed Valdes and struck out Werth to end the frame.
The Phillies padded their lead in the bottom of the inning. Utley walked, stole second and scored on Howard's single to right that put Philadelphia up 4-2.
Notes: The Phillies honored four Olympic gold medalists with Philadelphia-area ties in a pregame ceremony, as soccer stars Heather Mitts and Carli Lloyd joined Jordan Burroughs (wrestling) and Susan Francia (rowing) to throw out ceremonial first pitches. . Philadelphia placed catcher Brian Schneider on the 15-day DL and recalled Steven Lerud from Double-A Reading. ... Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay (7-7, 3.95) is scheduled to face Washington left-hander Gio Gonzalez (16-6, 3.23) in the second game of the three-game set at 7:05 Saturday night.
The Associated Press News Service
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