Nationals right-hander Todd Coffey notched the win Friday, firing a scoreless 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning. It was a quiet inning that might not have received much attention if he did not grab the victory.
Washington scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth, highlighted by Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off grand slam. Coffey improved to 4-1.
After he allowed three runs in Colorado August 6, Coffey has thrown four straight games without allowing a run and just one hit with no walks and three strikeouts in four innings. Coffey said advice from his pitching coach and a teammate convinced him to make a small change in his delivery to help get the ball down in the zone more to each batter.
"I made a little mechanical adjustment," Coffey said. Drew (Storen) and (pitching coach Steve) McCatty helped me stand a little bit taller. It allowed me to get down on the ball more. I am on top of the ball better. I am going out there as I always go out there and attack the zone."
Nationals starter John Lannan said his knee still bothers him a bit when he bends to a squat position. He said it doesn't affect his pitching or running, but he will have to fight through the discomfort when he has to make fielding plays in front of the mound.
Lannan said the soreness in his knee would not prevent him from pitching against the Phillies tonight. "No way I am missing that start against the Phillies. I want to get back out there now after what happened last Saturday."
Lannan allowed only one earned run, but four hits and five walks in the loss. He does have a 4-3 record in his last 10 games and has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last six starts.
Down on the farm, Triple-A Syracuse hurler Tommy Milone struck out 10 batters last night for his 10th win of the season. He looks like a good bet to get a shot in September with the Nationals.
Hagerstown Sun's outfielder Kevin Keyes homered again Friday night for his fourth homer in the last five games.
The Harrisburg Senators first baseman Tyler Moore crushed a solo shot in the loss to Erie for No. 27 on the season. That is 58 homers in two seasons so far for the Mississippi State star.