Jimmy Rollins hit a pair of home runs and A.J. Burnett held the Washington Nationals to a pair of runs over 7 2/3 innings as the Phillies rolled to a 6-2 victory at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
The victory was the Phillies’ fifth in a row to equal their season best. Better yet, after dropping nine out of 10 before the streak, the Phillies (42-51) are just eight games behind the first-place Braves and Nats in the NL East.
Starting pitching report
In working 7 2/3 innings, Burnett has pitched at least six innings in his last 10 starts. During that span, Burnett has a 3-5 record and a 4.25 ERA. However, in his last seven starts, Burnett has a 2.94 ERA with 40 strikeouts.
Burnett allowed five hits and four walks Friday night, notching six strikeouts.
Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann left the game with an apparent injury after motioning to the dugout during the fourth inning. The right-hander allowed four runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked zero.
Ken Giles faced two hitters to get the final out of the eighth inning. He allowed an inherited runner to score on a two-strike double from Ryan Zimmerman.
The rookie right-hander finished the game with a perfect ninth.
At the plate
Rollins had the ninth two-homer game of his career and first since Aug. 1, 2012, in Washington. Rollins is just the second Phillie (Marlon Byrd) to hit two homers in a game this season.
Rollins has 11 homers in 89 games this season. Last year he hit six homers in 160 games. It is the 11th time in Rollins’ career that he has at least 11 homers in a season. Only Mike Schmidt (15) has more double-digit home run seasons as a Phillie.
Additionally, Byrd and Chase Utley also had multi-hit games and Dom Brown, Byrd and catcher Cameron Rupp slugged doubles.
The Nats got their other run on a solo homer from Bryce Harper in the seventh inning. It was Harper’s second homer of the season.
Grady Sizemore made his debut with the Phillies with a single in four plate appearances. Batting leadoff and playing center field, Sizemore singled ahead of Rollins’ two-run homer in the third inning.
In his other plate appearances, Sizemore grounded out to shortstop in the first inning, flied out to the warning track in left in the fifth and hit a hard liner right at centerfielder Denard Span in the seventh.
The series continues Saturday night with a marquee pitching matchup. Cole Hamels (3-5, 2.87) will go up against Washington for the first time this season, while righty Stephen Strasburg (7-6, 3.47) will pitch for the Nats.
Both pitchers are from San Diego and will face each other for the third time. Strasburg has an 0.64 ERA in the first two meetings against Hamels and the Phillies.