Rookie Vance Worley dazzled in his second start of the season, Raul Ibanez continued to bust out of his hitting slump, and the Phillies cruised to an easy 7-4 win over the Nationals Wednesday night to move to 20-9 on the season.
With Joe Blanton still ailing and Roy Oswalt not slated to start until the weekend, the Phils once again turned to the young Worley (2-0), who pitched six solid innings against the Nats, allowing only one run on four hits while striking out seven to earn his second win in as many starts in 2011.
"I'm just trying to contribute the best I can," Worley said. "Some things are going my way."
Worley's manager was impressed with what he saw.
"He's been very good," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He has good stuff, keeps his composure and he's focused on what he's doing. He's shown he can pitch."
Worley was given more than enough support from the offense, who broke out the bats in the fifth inning when Raul Ibanez blasted a solo homer, his second of the season, off Washington starter Jason Marquis (3-1). Ibanez, who ended his 0-for-35 streak on Tuesday night with a pair of doubles, went 3-for-4 on the night with a pair of runs and an RBI to continue with his dominance against the Nats.
After Ibanez's solo shot, the Phils got an RBI from Shane Victorino as well as a sacrifice fly from Placido Polanco to take a 3-0 lead.
The Nats got on the board in the sixth on an RBI double from Adam LaRoche to cut the lead to two, but the Phillies came right back in the bottom half of the frame thanks to RBI singles from Wilson Valdez and Jimmy Rollins, before adding another pair of runs thanks to some shoddy defense from the Nats after they botched what should have been an inning-ending double play ball off the bat of Victorino.
The Nationals would add three runs in the top of the ninth when Danny Espinosa tagged Danys Baez for a three-run homer, but it was too little, too late, as they were handed the second loss in as many games.
It was an all around drubbing for the Phillies, who pitched and hit their way to their N.L.-best 20th in. They'll go for the sweep on Thursday when they turn to No. 1 ace Roy Halladay (4-1, 2.14), who will oppose Jon Lannan (2-3, 3.78).
* Nationals starter Jason Marquis, who was 3-0 before this contest, allowed six earned runs on ten hits over five innings to take the first loss of the season at the hand of the Phillies.
* Jayson Werth went 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts at the hand of Worley, and is 1-for-7 in his first action back at Citizens Bank Park.
* Raul Ibanez, who broke out of his slump on Wednesday night, is a career .314/.384/.594 hitter against the Nationals, with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs in 46 games.