A.J. Burnett and Phillies seeking fifth straight win over Nats


Aug 13, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning during the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals are considered by many to be the best team in baseball, but they sure haven’t looked it against the Philadelphia Phillies recently.

A.J. Burnett hasn’t pitched the way the Phillies hoped he would in 2014 and he may be an unlikely candidate to help them win their fifth straight game over Washington.  But if Friday night’s National League East clash is any indication, much stranger things have happened.

The Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead Friday, but the Phillies inched their way back to topple them in extra innings.  Perhaps the strangest part of it all was Ben Revere hitting his second career homer to tie the game in the ninth.

“It’s crazy,” said Revere to the Phillies’ official website.  “I wasn’t expecting to do something like that.”

Not known for his ability to bring in runs, Revere has collected eight of his 23 season RBIs in the current week.  He currently holds the National League batting title with a .316 average.  In six at bats against Nationals starter Tanner Roark he is 1-for-6 with a strikeout.

Roark is 6-5 at home this season with a 1-2 record and 5.29 ERA against the Phillies.

Choosing Saturday’s third baseman, Cody Asche, over newcomer Maikel Franco was probably a rather easy decision for Phillies’ manager Ryne Sandberg.  Asche is 3-for-8 lifetime against Roark with a double and two solo home runs.

Franco did pick up his first hit as a member of the Phillies in Friday night’s comeback and he notched his second career RBI late in the game.

Burnett is looking for a win in a big way as he has lost seven of his last ten games, winning just two of them.

A win on Saturday will not only give the Phillies the current series at Nationals Park, but the season series as well.  Philadelphia is currently 9-8 in the series with the last scheduled meeting of these two teams coming on Sunday.

Phillies lineup:

Revere CF

Rollins SS

Utley 2B

Howard 1B

Sizemore RF

Brown LF

Nieves C

Asche 3B

Burnett P

Nationals lineup:

Span CF

Rendon 3B

Werth RF

LaRoche 1B

Desmond SS

Harper LF

Ramos C

Cabrera 2B

Roark P