Washington, DC – Wilson Ramos knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning and the Washington Nationals snuck past the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game set at Nationals Park.
With Michael Schwimer (0-1) on the mound, Steve Lombardozzi started the rally with a two-out single before Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth drew walks to load the bases. After falling behind 0-2 and fouling off a couple of tough pitches, Ramos got a slider up and stroked it into center field to score Lombardozzi.
Ryan Perry (1-0) tossed a perfect top of the 11th to earn the win. The Nationals have won three consecutive games.
"It was an outstanding effort from all the guys," Ramos said. "We kept fighting and in that moment I just wanted to go out and hit the ball hard."
Chad Tracy cracked a solo home run and Jesus Flores added a pair of RBI with a double and a sacrifice fly. Harper went 0-for-3 at the plate but drew three walks.
Hunter Pence smacked a two-run homer and Carlos Ruiz added a solo shot for the Phillies, who took two of three from the Atlanta Braves before this series.
Trailing 3-2, Washington tied the game in the eighth. Tracy opened the inning with a single off Phillies reliever Chad Qualls and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Danny Espinosa. Rick Ankiel was intentionally walked and Flores smoked a sinking liner to left that got past John Mayberry Jr. to score Tracy.
Philadelphia threatened to take the lead in the top of the ninth when Shane Victorino walked and stole second to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. Henry Rodriguez battled back to strike out Ty Wigginton, Ruiz and Freddy Galvis to keep the game tied.
After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the third, the Phillies opened the scoring in the fourth when Juan Pierre ripped a single up the middle to start the frame and Pence followed by blasting a hanging slider from Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg over the center field wall.
The Nats answered right back in the bottom of the fourth when Tracy reached for a low breaking ball and served it out over the right field wall to cut the deficit to 2-1.
But the Phils extended their lead to 3-1 in the fifth when Ruiz took a fastball from Strasburg deep over the center field wall.
Joe Savery relieved Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick in the sixth and got off to a good start by getting Tracy to fly out. He then walked Espinosa and Ankiel ripped a double off the center field wall to put runners on second and third.
Savery was pulled for Jose Contreras, and Flores lofted a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Espinosa to make it 3-2. Washington continued to threaten when Contreras plunked pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina on the right leg to put two runners on with two down.
Ian Desmond followed and slapped one deep in the hole at shortstop. Jimmy Rollins made a diving play to get to the ball then threw to Placido Polanco, who tagged out Ankiel rounding third for the final out of the inning.
"Sure, we lost, but we have to stay focused and not get deterred by losing one game," Victorino said. "If we take the next two we'll put ourselves in a good position."
Philadelphia fell to 8-9 on the road this season...Friday marked the first meeting between these NL East rivals. Washington won last year's season series, 10-8...Kendrick gave up just one run on seven hits and two walks while fanning two in five innings...Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel was ejected by home plate umpire Rob Drake in the first inning. It was his first ejection of the season...It was Tracy's first home run since Sept. 6, 2010...Strasburg was charged with three runs on three hits and one walk while punching out four over six innings...Second base umpire Joe West missed the game due to illness...Philadelphia fell to 0-3 in extra-inning games this season...The Phillies went 1-for-8 with men in scoring position and stranded five.