By Sam Bush
No-name Phillies stepped up Friday night to knock off the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.
Cesar Hernandez had a go-ahead, two-run single in a wild four-run seventh inning and Freddy Galvis had three hits and an RBI, leading the Phillies to a 4-1 victory over the Nationals.
Michael Taylor homered for the Nats, the preseason favorites in the NL East who have lost three of four to open the year while scoring just seven runs.
Jonathon Papelbon, two days after saying he doesn’t “feel much like a Phillie,” pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save in as many chances. Papelbon is five saves away from becoming Philly’s all-time saves leader.
Chase Utley added an RBI for the Phillies, who were helped by a pair of walks and two hit batters in their rally.
Luis Garcia (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Jerome Williams. Williams (photo above) settled down after allowing Taylor’s leadoff homer to yield one run and five hits with six strikeouts and a walk in six innings.
Williams looked like the pitcher who might have salvaged his career by going 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in nine late-season starts with the Phillies in 2014 that earned him a one-year, $2.5 million deal in the offseason.
Washington’s Gio Gonzalez (0-1) gave up three runs on five hits in 6 1-3 innings with four strikeouts and four walks. It was a disappointing debut for Gonzalez, whose 3.57 ERA last year was his worst since 2009. He missed a month due to a left shoulder injury but was feeling good entering this season and pitched well in spring training.
Gonzalez breezed into the seventh, getting Jeff Francoeur to fly out to open the inning before everything unraveled.
Manager Matt Williams visited the lefty after consecutive walks put runners on first and second but left him in. Gonzalez was chased after he hit Andres Blanco to load the bases.
Hernandez drilled Xavier Cedeno’s first pitch into right field for two runs, with slow-footed Cameron Rupp sliding home after Bryce Harper’s throw from right field went slightly up the third-base line. Cedeno was lifted after hitting Ben Revere. Galvis singled in a run, and Utley had a sacrifice fly.