WASHINGTON (AP) -Moments before Ryan Zimmerman sent Brad Lidge's fastball over the centerfield fence in the ninth inning, the third baseman sent Adam Dunn a message.
Zimmerman fouled off a slider, looked at Dunn in the on-deck circle and laughed before hitting a three-run homer to give the Washington Nationals a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.
``He let me know I'm not hitting again,' Dunn said. ``It's like, 'You don't get the win today.''
Trailing by one run with two men on base and one out, Zimmerman came through on his promise. It was Zimmerman's seventh walkoff home run since his debut in September 2005, more than anyone else in that span, but even he doesn't know what's behind his last-inning success.
``I wish I could tell you,' Zimmerman said. ``I don't know, I just treat it like any other at-bat. I kind of think the pressure's on him and not on me.'
Dunn, however, would like a chance at his own game-winner now and again.
``He said he's upset every time when that happens in front of him,' Zimmerman said. ``Kind of upset. I don't know - I don't know how to take that.'
In the Phillies' clubhouse the mood was far less jovial. Lidge (1-1) came on in the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Michael Morse and a walk to Adam Kennedy before Zimmerman's drive. It was Lidge's fourth blown save of the year. In 2009 he led the majors with 11 blown saves.
After the game, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel was not pleased when asked if it was time to change closers.
``I've heard you guys say that for two ... years now. I hear this and that and this and that,' Manuel said. ``We try this guy. We try that guy. We try this guy. Then I hear you (say) to me about roles. 'Guys out of their roles.' All night long. Let's just drop it right there. I've heard it - really. Two years I've heard it.'
Lidge has allowed 11 earned runs in 8 2-3 innings over his last 10 save opportunities.
``I guess you have to tip your hat every once in a while,' Lidge said. ``I don't want to do that tonight, but I have to. Hopefully, I'll get another chance to do it because I feel pretty good.'
The Phillies took a lead into the bottom of the ninth after Carlos Ruiz had broken a 4-all tie in the top of the ninth with an RBI single off Drew Storen (3-2). Ruiz also homered for the Phillies.
``I owe Zim at least a dinner,' Storen said. ``That kind of left a sour taste in my mouth.'
Raul Ibanez homered in the seventh to tie it at 4, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Ruiz cut Washington's lead to 3-2 in the sixth inning with his third home run of the season, a solo shot.
Washington extended the lead in the bottom of the inning on Ian Desmond's sacrifice fly. Domonic Brown made a diving catch on the play with runners on second and third that likely saved a run.
Philadelphia's Ryan Howard didn't play for the first time since the final game of the 2009 regular season. The first baseman, who is in a 0-for-14 slump, was replaced by Cody Ransom. Manuel said Howard would return to the lineup Sunday.
The Nationals opened the game with five of the first seven batters hitting singles off Phillies starter Joe Blanton, including three consecutive two-out, run-scoring hits.
Before the game, rumors swirled about Dunn as several teams were talking to the Nationals about acquiring the slugger. The trade deadline passed without a deal, and Dunn received a large ovation when his name was announced before his first at-bat.
``That was just one of those special things,' Dunn said. ``When I retire, that's one of things that'll be at the top of my list to remember.'
NOTES: Jimmy Rollins extended his streak of successful stolen base attempts to 24. Rollins was last caught stealing on July 22, 2009. ... Blanton was hit by a pitch by Joel Peralta in the sixth inning, but home plate umpire Kerwin Danley ruled Blanton intentionally moved his elbow into the path of the pitch. ... Nationals RHP Steven Strasburg, on the 15-day DL on Thursday with right shoulder inflammation, will throw in the outfield before Sunday's game, and then again Monday before a bullpen session Wednesday, manager Jim Riggleman said. ... Washington announced the signing of Cuban RHP Yunesky Maya. ... The Nationals will call up LHP John Lannan from Harrisburg to start Sunday.
The Associated Press News Service
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