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Werth’s Homer Sinks Nationals

Jayson Werth swatted a home run in the eighth inning, giving the Phillies a 5-4 win over the Nationals.

Werth’s shot was his 17th of the season, and capped off a comeback that started with the Phils down 4-1. Joe Blanton gave up four runs on eight hits in just five innings, not a good start at all. The “innings eater” threw 91 pitches in his five frames.

It didn’t look good, but the Phils came back because of the bottom of their order. Shane Victorino saved this team yet again offensively, going 2-for-3 and scoring twice. He smartly advanced from first to third on a Greg Dobbs single after being denied that same fate on an error because umpire Joe West was in the way. He also gunned a throw home, keeping a runner from scoring. Now hitting .285, Vic is the Phils top regular hitter.

The top of the order (Rollins to Burrell) went a combined 3-for-19, with Werth’s homer being the only RBI. For a while the Phils were being outhit by Ronnie Belliard. I still don’t agree with Werth starting in this situation — let Geoff Jenkins get some tries. Meanwhile, Charlie Manuel needs to shake up this lineup. Move Victorino to the three-hole, put Rollins elsewhere.

Then there’s Rollins, who was given a true mixed reaction upon his first at bat. The reaction was more negative after he hit into a double play in the fifth inning. He corked one deep in the eighth, but it fell short and was caught. He’ll need to do better than 0-for-4 for the boos to end.

Brad Lidge closed out the ninth in easy fashion for his 31st save in as many chances. It seems as if the few days off did him well. Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson combined as the bridge, with Madson hurling an efficient, spectacular 10-pitch eighth for the win.

Associated Press photo

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