The deft combination of Ross Detwiler's arm and Adam LaRoche's bat helped the Washington Nationals salvage the final contest of their three-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 3-0 shutout Thursday night.
Detwiler (6-4) scattered three hits, walked two and struck out three over seven innings. The southpaw retired the last 14 batters he faced.
Tyler Clippard walked two batters in the ninth before striking out pinch- hitter Ryan Howard to secure his 21st save of the season.
LaRoche homered, singled twice and drove in two runs for the NL East-leading Nationals, who avoided getting swept by the cellar-dwelling Phillies.
Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels (11-6) pitched well in defeat, allowing three runs on eight hits in seven frames. He fanned nine and walked one.
"That's the game and you just have to get back on the mound the next time," said Hamels. "Unfortunately giving up a few runs and not scoring any, you're not going to win the game."
The Phillies looked to open the scoring in the second, but Bryce Harper threw out John Mayberry trying to score from second on Michael Martinez's single to right field.
LaRoche led off the bottom of the second by blasting his 20th home run of the year, a deep shot to right.
Washington tacked on two more runs in the third. After Hamels retired the leadoff batter, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse both reached on sharply hit ground balls that couldn't be fielded cleanly by second baseman Chase Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
"It was nice to get that early lead, especially after being so stagnant the past few games," said LaRoche. "We were able to put together a few runs and salvage this series."
LaRoche made it three consecutive singles with a line drive to center, plating Zimmerman. Then a returning Jayson Werth, activated from the 60-day disabled list prior to the game, hit a run-scoring groundout.
Werth had been sidelined since breaking his left wrist against the Phillies on May 6.
Hamels has just one win in his last seven outings. He suffered his first loss in six career starts at Nationals Park...Morse extended his hit streak to 11 games, while LaRoche has now hit safely in 10 straight...To make room for Werth, the Nationals placed reliever Henry Rodriguez on the 15-day DL with a low back strain...Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann was voted the NL Pitcher of the Month for July.