Jordan Zimmermann worked six innings of one-run ball and the Washington Nationals topped the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-2, in the middle test of a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.
Zimmermann (3-4) scattered seven hits and struck out two while issuing a pair of walks and added two hits and a run scored at the plate in the victory. Tom Gorzelanny allowed a run in two innings in relief and Tyler Clippard turned the Phils away in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
"I was just going after them and attacking," Zimmermann said. "I kept the fastball down and the slider was exceptionally good tonight."
Bryce Harper smashed a two-run triple, Ian Desmond ripped a solo shot for the second consecutive night, Rick Ankiel hit a solo homer and Adam LaRoche added an RBI with a sacrifice fly for the Nats, who have taken the first two games of this series and three straight overall.
Hector Luna had an RBI ground-rule double and Erik Kratz clubbed his first major league home run for the Phils, who, after going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Monday, also failed to produce in key situations on Tuesday by going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranding nine.
Roy Halladay (4-4) allowed five runs on nine hits and a walk while fanning six in six innings to take the loss.
The Phillies drew first blood with a run in the second inning. Hunter Pence slapped a single up the middle to begin the inning, moved to second on a groundout by Carlos Ruiz, and trotted home on a ground-rule double over the center field fence by Luna.
But Washington quickly grabbed the lead by putting up four runs in the third frame. Zimmermann started things by lacing a single into left and Steve Lombardozzi followed with a base hit. Harper then crushed a hanging breaking ball from Halladay into the right-center field gap to bring home both runners.
LaRoche plated Harper with a sac fly to center and Desmond followed by crushing a hanging breaking ball from Halladay into the left field seats for a 4-1 Nationals lead.
"The one to Harper, the curveball, was a bad pitch that cost me," Halladay said of his pitch selection. "They were swinging early (in the count). You can take advantage of that if you make good pitches."
Washington extended its lead to 5-1 when Ankiel led off the fourth by blasting a cutter over the wall in dead center field.
Philadelphia pulled a run closer in the eighth when Kratz got a fastball over the heart of the plate from Gorzelanny and deposited it into the shrubbery beyond the center field wall to make it a three-run game.
Clippard was called on in the ninth to try his hand at closing after Henry Rodriguez was erratic on Monday and fared quite well. He fanned pinch-hitter Pete Orr with a changeup to begin the inning, then induced groundouts from Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco to secure the win.
The Phillies are just 1-7 in their last eight games against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park...Halladay suffered his first career loss against Washington. He had been 6-0 in seven career starts... Prior to Tuesday's game, the Phillies placed shortstop Jimmy Rollins on the paternity list and recalled Kratz from Triple-A Lehigh Valley...Ruiz was ejected in the third inning by home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom for arguing balls and strikes...Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman did not play...Philadelphia fell to 16-10 when scoring first this season.