WASHINGTON (AP) - For the Washington Nationals, it was a lonely feeling. A Nationals Park record crowd of 44,685 was on hand, and it seemed as if nearly all were rooting for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Phillies fans went home happy. The relatively few Nationals fans didn't.
Roy Oswalt pitched eight-hit ball for eight innings, Wilson Valdez and Jimmy Rollins each drove in two runs and Hunter Pence homered to lead Philadelphia to a 5-0 victory Saturday night.
Contrasted with the nasty Friday weather, which caused a delay of 2 hours, 22 minutes, this beautiful night drew a crowd 2,700 larger than the previous record on June 25, 2009. On that night, most cheered for the visiting Red Sox - and didn't boo Jayson Werth.
As he took the field for the first inning, Werth tipped his cap to the jeering fans, one of whom carried a sign that read: ``Was it Werth it?' - a reference to his seven-year, $126 million deal that convinced him to leave the Phillies and join the Nationals.
``They're cheering for the other team and you wish they were cheering for you,' Michael Morse said.
Oswalt was supposed to start for the Phillies on Friday night, but after torrential rain arrived in the first inning, the game was delayed, and he was scratched.
The Phillies, winners for the 81st time this year, scored twice in the fourth and three times in the sixth as Oswalt (6-7) struck out nine - the most since joining Philadelphia last July. He walked one and had runners on in every inning but the second and third.
Michael Stutes worked the ninth to complete the Phillies' 15th shutout of the season.
In Philadelphia's locker room, a T-shirt draped over a chair served as a taunt to the Nationals. Marking the game, it read: ``Citizens Bank Park South.'
While the home team didn't see it, the Nationals all noticed the fans cheering for the other guys.
``I love a packed ballpark,' Washington manager Davey Johnson said. ``Hopefully, they'll be rooting for us before long and there won't be any room for those other guys.'
In the fourth, John Mayberry Jr. singled with two outs. He tried to steal, but John Lannan threw to Morse at first. Morse's throw arrived at second ahead of Mayberry, but Ian Desmond dropped the ball and Mayberry was safe. Carlos Ruiz walked, and Valdez tripled them both in.
Oswalt struck out five batters in the first three innings, and was helped enormously by Mayberry, whose throw to the plate nailed Ryan Zimmerman, who tried to score on Werth's single in the fourth.
Pence led off the sixth inning with a long, high home run to left field, his 15th. Philadelphia is 15-4 since his arrival in a trade from Houston.
Mayberry and Ruiz followed with singles, and Collin Balester replaced Lannan (8-9). After Valdez hit into a fielder's choice, Oswalt bunted to first. Instead of tagging the pitcher for the second out, Morse tried to get Ruiz at third. The throw was not in time, and the bases were loaded. Rollins singled to score Ruiz and Valdez for a three-run inning, and a 5-0 lead.
Lannan, now a woeful 1-12 against the Phillies, was charged with five runs - three earned - in his five-plus innings.
``Their fans are unbelievable. You've got to get used to it. Hopefully, someday those crowds will be cheering for us,' Lannan said.
NOTES: Zimmerman had three hits. He's reached base in 26 straight games. ... Johnson said that there's no need for a September return for C Ivan Rodriguez (right oblique strain), who hasn't played since July 6. ``I'm not really concerned about it. It's not like he has to prove anything to me or the organization. The only thing I'm concerned about is him getting healthy and not rushing, which he has a tendency to do,' Johnson said. ... RHP Roy Halladay (15-5) will start for the Phillies on Sunday. He's 3-0 this season and 11-1 in his career against Washington. ... RHP Chien-Ming Wang (2-2) is the Nationals' starter. Johnson said he hopes that Wang, who missed more than two years after shoulder surgery, will strongly consider re-signing with the Nationals. ``Hopefully, he enjoys pitching here,' Johnson said. ``If he chooses to go elsewhere, I think it's been good for both parties.'
The Associated Press News Service
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