Redding Strong Again; Nats Shut Out Phils 4-0

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | , , | 0 comments »

Washington, DC--Tim Redding, surely becoming the ace of the Washington Nationals' staff, threw six and one-third shutout innings as the Nats defeated division-rival Philadelphia Monday night 4-0. Redding had assistance by three relievers -- Saul Rivera, Luis Ayala and Joel Hanrahan -- in completing the whitewash of the Phillies.

Redding (W, 6-3, 3.16) allowed his share of base runners last night. He gave up seven hits and two walks, but pitched out of trouble all evening and did not allow a Phillie to cross home plate, as the visitors left nine men on base. Redding extended a scoreless inning streak to thirteen and one-third innings over the Phils this season. Both times Philadelphia has been shut out this season has been at the hands of Redding and the Nats. Phillies starter Brett Myers took the loss (2-5, 5.76), allowing three earned runs on eight hits and three walks, with a surprisingly low total of two strikeouts.

The Nats started their scoring in the bottom of the first against Myers. Cristian Guzman (3-for-4, 3 runs scored) reached on an infield single with one out, and Ryan Zimmerman doubled him to third base. Dmitri Young, in his first game at first base this season, lofted a sacrifice fly to center field that easily scored Guzman, giving the Nats the lead they would hold all night long. In the third, second baseman Felipe Lopez doubled to start the inning and went to third on Guzman's shallow single to center. Zimmerman (2-for-3) walked to load the bases, and after a Young strikeout, Lastings Milledge blooped a double down the right field line that scored both Lopez and Guzman. Milledge went 2-for-4, with two doubles, and two RBIs on the night.

The Nats last run of the contest came in the seventh inning against Phillies reliever Ryan Madson. Guzman -- DC's MVP so far this season -- doubled to lead off the inning, and Zimmerman followed up with his second hit of the contest. Guzman then came home on Young's double play to put the icing on cake.

The game ended with Joel Hanrahan striking out one of the NL's hottest hitters, Jason Werth, who had three home runs in a single game Friday night.

The series continues Tuesday at 7:10 pm with Jason Bergmann (1-1, 7.45) facing Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.89) for the Phillies.

NATS NOTES: The win moves the Nationals season record to 20-26, five and one-half games behind Florida. The Phillies fall to 24-22, and are one and one-half behind the Marlins.

The team announced that LHP Matt Chico will start Wednesday in place of Shawn Hill, who experienced significant discomfort in his pitching elbow after Friday's start against Baltimore. He received a cortisone shot in his right elbow Saturday and will need to skip a turn in the rotation. The team hopes that's all that he will need to miss.

Second Baseman Ronnie Belliard was placed on the 15-day disabled list after then game with a strained calf muscle. It's only the third time in his career that he has had to go disabled. The team will probably recall Chris Schroder on Tuesday before the game to take Chico's place in the pen.

Austin Kearns did not start for the second game in a row due to a sore elbow. He was x-rayed, but the team has released no further information by the time this story went to press.

Photo courtesy of K. Queen, DC Sports Box