Nice move by Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
Only a few hours before Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park, Johnson decided to switch the starters for each game. Tommy Milone pitched the opener and tossed six innings of shutout ball. Ross Detwiler took the nightcap. Did he ever.
The Nationals swept a doubleheader from the Philadelphia Phillies behind a career night from Detwiler in a 3-0 nightcap victory.
Detwiler (3-5) threw a career-best 7 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, no runs, one walk and three strikeouts. He threw only 81 pitches, 51 for strikes.
Ben Francisco had two hits and Placido Polanco the other versus the masterful Detwiler, who managed to outduel the Phillies’ Cliff Lee (16-8) for the win.
The Nationals’ defense recorded a pair of double plays which thwarted the limited scoring chances the Phillies had against the St. Louis, Mo., native.
Henry Rodriguez finished off the eighth inning. Drew Storen notched saves in both ends of the doubleheader, Nos. 39 and 40.
The Nationals’ offense, meanwhile, pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of three errors by the Phillies.
Danny Espinosa tied a franchise record by launching a solo homer off Lee to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Espinosa tied Ryan Zimmerman (2005) and Brad Wilkerson (2002 with Montreal) as the only rookies to hit 20 homers for the franchise.
Espinosa also joined Dan Uggla (27, Florida 2006) and Alexei Ramirez (21, White Sox 2008) as only the third rookie second baseman in major league history to hit 20 or more homers.
The Nationals added to their lead with single runs in the sixth and seventh frames. In the sixth, Detwiler helped his cause with an RBI single that scored Espinosa. In the seventh, Jayson Werth doubled and later scored on an error by Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Espinosa finished with three hits, while Michael Morse and Ian Desmond each had a pair of base knocks.
In Game 1, Zimmerman slapped an RBI single to center that lifted the Nationals to a 4-3 win over the Phillies in 10 innings.
The Nationals have set a franchise record with six straight wins on the road and now have 74 wins with eight games remaining. They have won eight of their last 10 games. The Expos’ longest win streak on the road was nine in a row set in 1994.