Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Grady Sizemore and Marlon Byrd each hit two-run homers to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals with an 8-4 win on Wednesday.
The Phillies took the lead with a three-run rally in the sixth inning sparked by Byrd's leadoff single against Washington starter Doug Fister. Domonic Brown then knocked a double to right-center which cut Philadelphia's deficit to 4-3. Wil Nieves attempted to move Brown over with a bunt, but shortstop Ian Desmond made a nice play to get the out at third. Cody Asche flied out to left in the next at-bat before Sizemore hit his first career pinch-hit homer, a two-run shot to right that gave the Phillies the lead.
Byrd then increased the cushion in the seventh with his career high-tying 24th homer of the season, which plated Ryan Howard. The Phillies tacked on one more run in the ninth to account for the final margin.
Their bullpen shut the door over the final three innings in relief of starter Kyle Kendrick. Antonio Bastardo and Jake Diekman each tossed a perfect frame to set up Ken Giles, who stranded a pair of runners in the ninth to send Philadelphia to its fourth straight win.
Kendrick (7-11) continued his struggles in the first inning, but settled down to grab the win. The right-hander allowed four runs -- two in the first -- on seven hits and a walk while striking out four. Kendrick has allowed 33 first- inning runs over 27 starts this season.
"Kendrick a little bit of a slow start, then minimized with a couple of runs," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. "The bullpen shut it down in the end."
Fister (12-5) was saddled with the loss after surrendering five runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings.
"The last couple (of games) he has given up some homers," Nationals manager Matt Williams said of Fister. "I don't think it's a theme. Tonight was just a mistake pitch (to Sizemore)."
Denard Span, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, opened the game with a single to center and raced around to score on Anthony Rendon's double. After a walk to Jayson Werth, Kendrick induced a 4-6-3 double play before Desmond laced a single into left that scored Rendon for a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first inning, Jimmy Rollins followed a groundout from Ben Revere with a towering drive out to right for his 17th homer of the season. Chase Utley then singled and hustled home when Howard's base hit to center was misplayed by Span.
Span doubled to begin the third and scored when Werth lined a single into left two batters later. After committing his second error of the season in the first, Span made amends by cracking his second homer of the year in the fifth to give the visitors a 4-2 edge.
The Phillies honored the Taney Dragons before the game for their run to the Little League World Series. The Dragons, who finished third in the United States bracket, received a check of $35,400 from Modell's Sporting Goods -- 100 percent of the T-shirt sales throughout the area during their run at Williamsport. Players took a victory lap around Citizens Bank Park and each threw a ceremonial first pitch to a Phillies player, including star pitcher Mo'ne Davis to Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. The organization wrapped up the lavish pregame ceremony by handing each Dragon a personalized Phillies jersey ... Kendrick has the highest first-inning ERA in the MLB since Brett Myers (10.36) and Edinson Volquez (10.35) in 2011 ... Philadelphia finished its nine-game homestand with a 7-2 record ... Washington has lost three in a row for the first time since June 25-27 ... Rollins reached base safely in his four plate appearances ... Philadelphia outhit Washington 15-9.