WASHINGTON – Edwin Jackson had so much difficulty retiring Jimmy Rollins and Nate Schierholtz, the Washington Nationals right-hander figured he must have been tipping his pictures.
Later, Jackson realized he wasn't telegraphing his pitches at all. He was simply throwing them poorly.
Jackson yielded two solo homers to Rollins and one to Schierholtz in a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
Rollins hit the first pitch of the game to the warning track, then homered in the third inning. In the fifth. Schierholtz, playing his first game with Philadelphia, followed Rollins' shot with one of his own.
So, was Jackson tipping his pitches?
"I thought it was a possibility, but going back and looking at it, Rollins, I made his pitches just over the middle," Jackson said. "And Schierholtz just came out probably looking for a first-pitch fastball that was middle-in and he jumped on it."
Precisely. Schierholtz said of his home run, "I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and I was ready first pitch."
Jackson (6-7) ultimately concluded that the Phillies didn't have any insight into his pitches after all.
"I just watched some tape to see, did I do anything different? I didn't," Jackson said.
One day after being traded by San Francisco in the deal that sent Hunter Pence to the Giants, Schierholtz started in right field and went 2-for-5.
Vance Worley (6-6) gave up two runs, none earned, and six hits in seven innings. The right-hander walked one and didn't get a strikeout for the first time this season, but he limited Washington to two singles after the second inning.
Philadelphia newcomer Josh Lindblom entered in relief with one out in the eighth and gave up a single to pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman before striking out Michael Morse. Lindblom came over in Tuesday's trade that sent Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers
Jonathan Papelbon, the fourth Philadelphia reliever, worked the ninth for his 23rd save.
It was the second straight win for the last-place Phillies over the NL East-leading Nationals, and in each game Philadelphia did not permit an earned run. Cole Hamels (11-5) will take the mound Thursday night for the Phillies, who will seek to complete a three-game sweep.
"We've got some life to us," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're having fun. We've got some guys that are trying to really show something, and hopefully we can get better."
The Nationals finished with seven hits, all singles.
"He gave us all pitches to hit," No. 5 hitter Adam LaRoche said of Worley. "Give him credit. We didn't do anything with it and he kept pounding the zone."
Washington took advantage of poor fielding by the Phillies to score two unearned runs in the first inning. After third baseman Kevin Frandsen misplayed a grounder to load the bases with one out, LaRoche singled in a run. Danny Espinoza then hit a potential double-play grounder to second baseman Chase Utley, who botched the underhand throw and barely got the forceout at second as a run scored.
The Nationals missed a chance to add to their lead in the second when Jackson was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a two-out single by Bryce Harper.
Erik Kratz led off the third with Philadelphia's first hit, a single, and Worley bunted into a double play while trying to sacrifice. Rollins followed with a drive to right on a 3-1 pitch, and Schierholtz and Utley singled before Ryan Howard struck out.
NOTES: The seven innings tied Worley's longest outing of the season. It was the first time he went seven innings in seven starts since June 21. ... Zimmerman missed a second start with a sore back, but is expected to return to the lineup Thursday. ... The Nationals are talking playoffs. Sort of. The team announced Wednesday that fans who place a deposit on full season ticket plans in 2013 will receive 2012 postseason ticket purchase priority. ... Ross Detwiler starts for the Nationals in the series finale.