By Sam Bush
It was a chilly and breezy day at the ballpark on Sunday, and the Phillies rewarded the stalwart fans who stayed till the end of yesterday’s doubleheader with a split against the Nationals.
Cesar Hernandez, had four hits, and the Phillies stopped Washington’s eight-game winning streak with an 8-5 victory over the Nationals in the second half of a doubleheader on Sunday.
Pete Mackanin got his first win since he became the interim manager after Ryne Sandberg resigned on Friday.
“We had a nice ending to a long day,” he said. “It was good to get a win.”
Maikel Franco drove in three runs for the Phils, who had dropped three in a row. Odubel Herrera had three hits and drove in a run.
Offense has been a struggle all season for the Phillies, and they entered last in the league in several major categories, including runs, RBIs and home runs. But they have won four of seven and averaged 9.8 runs in those victories.
“It’s nice to see,” Mackanin said. “We have it in us to do it more often and confidence is the factor.”
Ian Desmond and Jose Lobaton homered for Washington, but Tanner Roark was knocked out in the fourth inning.
In the opener, Stephen Strasburg struck out a season-high nine in seven strong innings to lead the Nationals to a 3-2 victory. The traditional doubleheader was made necessary by Saturday’s rainout after 1 1/2 innings. The games took a combined 6 hours, 22 minutes.
Severino Gonzalez (3-2) got the ball for Phillyin the second game and allowed four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
“I was feeling very good, especially about the opportunity,” Gonzalez said through an interpreter. “I’m glad things worked out.”
It was the sixth start for Gonzalez, who entered with an 8.69 ERA and was sent to Triple-A after surrendering six runs in 2 2/3 innings in a 7-5 loss to San Francisco on June 6. The Phillies optioned him back to Triple-A after the game.
“He pitched very well,” Mackanin said. “I like the way he attacks the zone. He needs to work on his breaking ball and keeping the ball down. He’s not an ace, but he’s capable of being a starter at this level.”
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 14 chances.
Roark (3-3) was tagged for eight runs and 12 hits in 3 1/3 innings. Roark, who was making his sixth start this season, had his ERA rise more than a point, from 3.25 to 4.34.
“He was up in the zone a little,” Washington manager Matt Williams said. “He had some balls sneak through the infield. It was just not his day.”
Roark’s rough outing came after Strasburg (5-5) allowed two runs and four hits in his second consecutive solid start since returning from the disabled list. Drew Storen pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save.
Dan Uggla had three hits for Washington in the opener, and Michael Taylor went 2 for 4.
Jeff Francoeur homered for the Phillies. Kevin Correia (0-2), making his fourth start for Philly, gave up three runs, one earned, and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
In the second game, Philadelphia tied a season high for hits in an inning with six in its four-run second. Herrera, Franco and Domonic Brown each had an RBI single, and Gonzalez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The Nationals got three back in the fourth. Clint Robinson had an RBI single before Desmond connected for a mammoth 458-foot drive to center for his seventh homer.
But the Phillies scored four more in the bottom half on Franco’s two-run single, Darin Ruf’s RBI single and Carlos Ruiz’s sacrifice fly.
The Phils finished with 16 hits, including 15 singles. Ruiz was the only starter not to get a hit.