Jun 18, 2013, 2:19 AM EST
USA Today Sports Images
Jeff Kobernus can't haul in Michael Young's third-inning triple off the wall.
Game in a nutshell: Fresh off a frustrating, shutout loss in Cleveland, the Nationals arrived in Philadelphia hoping to find some kind of offensive spark against an old pal: John Lannan, making his return from the DL and his first career start against the franchise that drafted him. The Nationals had their chances early against the lefty but managed only two runs in five innings against him. That wasn't enough, not with Dan Haren once again laboring (four runs allowed over six innings). So the Nationals needed to mount a late rally against the Phillies bullpen a seemingly daunting task, though one they actually were up to. Ian Desmond delivered a two-out RBI single off Mike Adams in the top of the eighth. Chad Tracy then delivered the biggest blow: a solo homer off Jonathan Papelbon on an 0-2 count with two outs in the ninth, keeping the game alive. Alas, Fernando Abad couldn't get the game into extra innings. The left-hander gave up three hits in the bottom of the ninth, including Domonic Brown's two-out, game-winner up the middle. Thus, the Nationals still wound up losing, dropping their fourth consecutive series opener and falling below .500 once again.
Hitting highlight: It's been a rough season for Tracy, and that's putting it mildly. But perhaps the events of the last three nights will be the spark that turns things around for the veteran pinch-hitter. On Saturday in Cleveland, Tracy launched an 0-2 pitch for aRead more »
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
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