Nats can’t touch Kendrick (Nats lose 4-2)

PHILADELPHIA - The Nationals just can’t seem to solve Kyle Kendrick this season.

Against teams who don’t wear a Curly W on their helmets, Kendrick has been average at best, making 15 starts and pitching to a 4.52 ERA.

In starts against the Nationals, Kendrick has put up a 1.50 ERA over 18 innings.

The Phillies right-hander has now made three starts against the Nats this season. Tonight, he’s thrown six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits in the process.

Overall, Kendrick has been on a roll lately, tossing 21 straight shutout frames. With the Nationals trailing 3-0, they’ll need to do some offensive damage at some point to avoid falling to .500 against the Phils this season.

Edwin Jackson battled his way through six innings tonight, taking one for the bullpen. Jackson was smacked around a bit early, allowing five baserunners over the first two innings. He trailed 3-0 after four and his pitch count was at 85 after the fourth, but he hung in and worked through six frames while keeping the Nats in it.

Bryce Harper, meanwhile, has two of the three Nationals hits tonight. Both have been doubles. This after he went 2-for-14 with six strikeouts in the recent three-game series against the Braves.

Outside of Harper, the only other National to have a hit tonight is Jackson. That’s never a good sign.

Update: With two outs in the seventh, Tyler Moore finally got the Nats some runs on Kendrick.

Pinch-hitting for Jackson, Moore jacked a two-run homer to left, snapping Kendrick’s scoreless streak at 21 innings and bringing the Nats within 3-2.

It was a monster pinch-hit knock for Moore, who now has seven homers and 21 RBIs on the season.

Update II: Michael Gonzalez allowed the Phillies to tack on a big insurance run in the eighth and the Nats couldn’t overcome a two-run deficit in the ninth, dropping the series opener 4-2.

Danny Espinosa reached on a single to start the ninth but was caught stealing with none out. Not a wise move there when you’re down two runs.

The Nats are now 5-5 against the Phillies this season and will have to see how long they’ll be without Michael Morse.

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