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(Sunday, May 4th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 1, Washington 0
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Roberto Hernandez came through with an outstanding fill-in start to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 1-0 win over the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.
Pressed into duty for his first start since April 25 when an illness pushed Cole Hamels' scheduled outing back to Tuesday, Hernandez (2-1) silenced Washington's bats through 7 1/3 innings, yielding a mere four singles and three walks in his best performance of the season.
"I think he's gotten better as we've gone along as far as command and control and really using his pitches," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Hernandez.
Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo and Jonathan Papelbon finished off the five-hit shutout, the Phillies' second straight win of the series after dropping Friday's opener.
Jimmy Rollins tripled and scored the game's lone run in the first inning, sending Gio Gonzalez (3-2) to a hard-luck loss despite the Nationals lefty permitting just four hits and fanning seven over 7 1/3 frames.
Denard Span had two of the five hits for Washington, which went 0-for-7 with men in scoring position.
"There will be nights where these guys will give me seven or eight runs," said Gonzalez. "It's just baseball. "
Rollins socked Gonzalez's ninth offering of the day into the gap in left- center and raced to third prior to coming around on a Chase Utley single, and Hernandez was able to wiggle out of a few early jams to make the lead stand.
The Nationals put runners on first and second but came up empty in the top of the first before an Utley error put men on first and second with one out in the third. Hernandez got Adam LaRoche to fly out harmlessly to center, however, before striking out Anthony Rendon to kill the threat.
"He just had that sinker going, keeping the ball down," LaRoche remarked. "I'm sure we chased some pitches on top of that, but [he got] a bunch of ground balls and kept it down in the zone. Not a lot of pitches in the middle of the plate that were up and hittable."
Philadelphia stranded a one-out triple by Ben Revere in the bottom of the third, but Hernandez set down 12 of the next 13 hitters before Span singled to lead off the eighth and was pushed into scoring position on a sac bunt.
Adams and Bastardo were able to prevent any damage, though, and Papelbon recorded two quick outs in the ninth before Sandy Leon kept Washington's hopes alive with a single.
Pinch-hitter Zach Walters then stepped to the plate and just missed a home run on a ball that landed just wide of the right-field foul pole, but struck out on Papelbon's next pitch to end the game.
Hernandez had his first start of seven or more scoreless innings since April 7, 2011, when he blanked Boston through seven frames while then with Cleveland ... Sandberg unsuccessfully challenged a safe call on Washington's Ian Desmond, who reached on an infield single in the second inning ... Philadelphia's Marlon Byrd had a seven-game hit streak end after going 0- for-3 ... The Nationals had won in five of Gonzalez's first six starts of the season.
05/04 20:22:37 ET