PHILADELPHIA - Right-hander A.J. Cole did a nice job of getting out of what could have turned into difficult situations in his first two innings tonight against the Phillies.
In the first, Nick Williams singled with two outs. But Cole was able to get Rhys Hoskins to ground into a fielder’s choice to third to end the inning.
In the second, Aaron Altherr singled and moved to second on a sacrifice. Down 3-1 to Maikel Franco, Cole again got a groundout to third base. He walked Andrew Knapp with two outs.
Facing Aaron Nola, Cole managed a weak grounder to first base to end the inning.
Nola went 1-2-3 against the Nats in the first, which included a strikeout of Ryan Zimmerman.
Update: Odubel Herrera’s line drive went out over the right-center field wall in the bottom of the fourth. His 14th homer of the season cut the Nats’ lead to 2-1.
Update II: Cole finished 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run ont he homer, six hits, two walks and struck out five. He threw 101 pitches, 67 for strikes. He did a nice job of confusing hitters with his changeup and mixed it in with his fastball to mess up their timing. Ollie Perez walked Andrew Kanpp but then got pinch-hitter Tommy Joseph to pop out behind home plate to end the threat.
Mid-seventh, the Nats lead the Phillies 2-1.
Update III: Zimmerman doubled off of Victor Arano with one-out in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Victor Robles singled to left field, Zimmerman moving to third. Werth grounded to third, but beat out the relay from second on an attempted double play for the RBI fielder’s choice. Zimmerman scored and the Nats led 3-1.
Update IV: Sean Doolittle retired the side in the ninth for his 24th save. He is now 21-for-21 with the Nats.
The Nats defeat the Phillies 3-1 for their 95th win. Cole improves to 3-5.