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Nationals hope to continue impressive stretch vs. Phils
(SportsNetwork.com) - Great teams are multi-faceted and the Washington Nationals are beginning to look like -- at least for 2014 purposes -- a great team.
The Nationals overcame a starting pitching skid with timely offensive outbursts and arrive in Philadelphia on Monday night to begin a three-game series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park trying to stretch a streak that's yielded 12 wins in 13 games.
Tanner Roark gets the call for the Nationals with a chance as well to prolong a run that's seen Nationals starters post a 2.22 earned run average in the 13 games, even with a 10-3 loss in the opener of a series with San Francisco over the weekend and a Sunday outing in which Stephen Strasburg allowed five runs in four innings.
The bats picked Strasburg up by rapping 18 hits and scoring 14 runs to win the finale.
"We need to keep it going as long as we can," Strasburg said.
Roark can provide Washington a fourth straight win on the road by continuing his own stretch that's yielded a 5-1 record and 2.17 ERA in his last eight starts overall. He's also 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA in his last eight away from home.
He got a no-decision Wednesday after allowing five hits in seven scoreless innings, in a game Washington ultimately won, 3-2, against Arizona.
Roark shares company with Adam Wainwright, Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels as the only big league pitchers who have 10 starts over at least seven innings with one or zero runs allowed.
He dropped a 7-2 decision at Philadelphia on May 3, but beat the Phillies, 10-3, on July 13.
A.J. Burnett gets the call for Philadelphia after allowing five runs in 7 2/3 innings of a 5-2 loss at Seattle on Tuesday. He's lost six consecutive decisions while compiling a 6.41 ERA.
"I'm not making pitches when I need to make pitches," he said.
Burnett has faced Washington four times in 2014, winning twice at home with a 1.98 ERA and losing twice on the road with a 10.57 ERA.
On Sunday in Washington, Jayson Werth's RBI single during a six-run sixth inning gave Washington the lead and the Nationals defeated the San Francisco Giants, 14-6, in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa both hit two-run homers and Ian Desmond clubbed a solo shot for the Nationals, who erased a 6-2 deficit by scoring 12 unanswered runs. Craig Stammen (4-4) earned the win and allowed just one run over two innings.
In Philadelphia, Jerome Williams tossed eight effective innings of one-run ball to help the Phillies take the finale of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 7-1 win.
Williams (2-0), who hasn't gone at least eight innings in a start since May 21, 2013, scattered five hits and walked three while striking out five in the win. After having a rough time with Texas and Houston earlier this season, Williams has allowed just four runs in 20 1/3 innings over three starts with Philadelphia.
Williams helped his own cause offensively with an RBI, Ben Revere went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored and Jimmy Rollins homered for the Phillies, who have won four of their last six.
The Nats are 8-5 versus the Phillies this season.
08/25 10:51:08 ET