Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Adam LaRoche struck the go-ahead RBI single in a three-run eighth inning as Washington overcame Philadelphia, 5-3, in the opener of a three-game series on Friday.
Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond both knocked in a run during the deciding frame for the Nationals, while Tyler Moore contributed a solo homer among his two hits and scored twice.
Jerry Blevins (2-1) recorded the last two outs of the seventh for the win. Rafael Soriano tossed a scoreless final frame for his sixth save.
Stephen Strasburg worked the first six innings, allowing six hits and three runs with five strikeouts.
Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer in the first inning for the Phillies, with Cody Asche and Chase Utley adding two hits apiece in the setback.
Mike Adams (1-1) took the loss, charged with three runs on as many hits while failing to retire a batter. It ruined another solid outing from starter Cliff Lee, who gave up four hits and one earned run over seven frames.
"It's disappointing for Cliff to do his job and to not shut them down (in the eighth)," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Denard Span doubled off Adams to start the eighth, stole third and scored on Rendon's single. Jayson Werth followed with a base hit and Jake Diekman came in, only to give up the go-ahead RBI single to LaRoche and a double from Desmond which scored Werth to make it 5-3 for Washington. The next two batters fanned, then Jose Lobaton walked to load the bases, but Diekman recovered to strike out pinch-hitter Zach Walters to keep it a two-run margin.
"It's easy to put it into cruise (control) if you're behind...but they don't do that. They fight. It's a very good sign," Nationals manager Matt Williams said of his club.
The hosts had two on with none out after a walk to Jimmy Rollins and single from Utley, but Ryan Howard popped out and both Byrd and Domonic Brown fanned to end the rally.
Washington put two on with two away in the ninth, but came up empty. Soriano walked Carlos Ruiz to start the home half, but induced a double-play grounder from Asche and retired Freddy Galvis on a pop out to the left of the plate to end the game.
The Phils got rolling early, as Utley kept the inning alive with a base hit, Howard followed with a single and Byrd reached the seats in right center for a 3-0 game immediately after Werth dropped a foul pop in right.
Moore began the third with his second homer of the season, and the Nats got back within a run in the fifth. Moore led off with a single, then Lobaton reached on Utley's fielding error. Strasburg sacrificed both into scoring position, then Span's grounder brought in Moore.
Washington has won three in a row in Philadelphia since last September ... Werth finished 3-for-4 with a walk and run scored against his ex-mates ... Lee has been charged with one earned run or fewer in four of his seven starts this season.