The Washington Nationals probably can't wait to get back home, but first they have business to take care of against the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Nationals look to avoid the sweep in south Philly and are tied with the Phillies at seven games off the lead in the NL East. After the Phillies rallied for a 5-4 win in Monday's opener, Washington dropped a 4-2 decision the following night.
A three-run bottom of the sixth inning was enough for the Phillies and sent Ross Detwiler to the loss column for the fifth time this season (2-5). The left-hander allowed all four runs and seven hits in six innings for the Nationals, who are 3-5 on a nine-game road trip and 3-7 in the past 10 games away from home.
Detwiler was outdueled by Phillies starter Cliff Lee. Lee allowed two home runs in eight innings and struck out nine with no walks. Jayson Werth and Jeff Kobernus provided the homers for the Nats.
"Det was matching (Lee) pitch for pitch," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said afterward. "He looked like he got out of sorts in the sixth. The ball started coming up. You just have to tip your hat to Mr Lee, he pitched a heck of a ball game."
The Nationals will open a seven-game homestand Thursday versus Colorado and Arizona.
Gio Gonzalez will take the hill for the Nationals Wednesday and hasn't won since May 5 at Pittsburgh. He is 0-1 with a 2.12 earned run average in his last seven starts with Washington going 2-5 in that span.
Gonzalez has recorded three straight no-decisions and was on point at Cleveland on Friday, as he delivered seven innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts and four walks. The left-hander, who threw a career-high 127 pitches, is 3-3 in 14 starts to go along with a 3.40 ERA and has made four career starts against the Phillies, going 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA over 25 innings.
The Phillies hope to pull of the sweep Wednesday and have won two straight and four of the last six games.
Lee was brilliant on the hill to give the Phils a series win over the Nationals, while Michael Young went 3-for-4 with three doubles. He also knocked in a run, the 999th of his career.
Philadelphia outfielder Domonic Brown was 0-for-4 and is batting just .152 with no homers and only two RBI in the past nine games. Brown was the NL Player of the Month for May with 12 homers and 25 RBI.
The Phillies will also host the New York Mets for three games on their current homestand.
Kyle Kendrick gets the start for the hosts Wednesday and looks to put his last outing in the rear view mirror. In an 8-7 win at Colorado last Friday, Kendrick luckily avoided a loss and was tagged for a season-high seven runs and 10 hits in a season-low 4 1/3 innings.
Kendrick is 2-3 in his past five decisions and 6-4 in 14 starts to go along with a 3.76 earned run average. Kendrick, who opened the season 4-1, lost to the Nationals on May 24, when he allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings of work.
The right-hander is just 4-6 in 20 games (18 starts) with a 4.90 ERA lifetime against Washington.
Philadelphia won two out of three when these teams met up last month. They split last year's season series, 9-9.