Nats drub Phils, secure home-field advantage throughout playoffs
Washington, DC, United States (4E Sports) – Edwin Jackson threw 6 2/3 effective innings for his 10th win as the Washington Nationals secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs after beating the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-1, Wednesday at Nationals Park.
Jackson (10-11) surrendered just one earned run on six hits and struck out five while Tyler Moore, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse homered for the Nationals.
The Nats improved to 98-64, which will at least equal the best record in the Major Leagues, depending on the outcome of Cincinnati’s game against St. Louis later Wednesday.
The Nationals, however, hold the edge over Cincinnati in their head-to-head showdown in the National League, ensuring a home-field edge in the playoffs.
Washington will play the winner of Friday’s NL Wild Card game between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals when the Division Series opens in either Atlanta or St. Louis Sunday.
After Jackson’s victory, Washington has five starting pitchers who have won at least 10 games.
Jackson took five starts to get his 10th win. His last victory was Sept. 4 against the Chicago Cubs. In between, Jackson got two no-decisions while the Nationals lost all four games.
The only run Jackson gave up was from a sacrifice fly by Darin Ruf in the fourth inning.
The Nationals tied the count in the bottom part of that inning when Zimmerman hit leadoff solo homer against left-hander Cliff Lee (6-9). Two batters later, Moore doubled to left field, scoring Morse to give the Nationals the lead.
In the sixth, Moore hit his 10th homer, making him the seventh player on the Nationals’ roster to reach double-digits in home runs.
Relievers Christian Garcia, Sean Burnett and Michael Gonzalez blanked the Phillies the rest of the way while Morse provided the insurance runs with a two-run shot off Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth.
Lee, who was supposed to be the team’s ace together with Roy Halladay, gave up three earned runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.
With the loss, the Phillies finished the season with an 81-81 record, snapping their run of nine consecutive winning seasons.