PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Tanner Roark pitched well, but A.J. Burnett was just a little better.
Burnett struck out 12 in seven innings and Cody Asche and Carlos Ruiz homered to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday night.
Roark (12-8) gave up two runs on five hits in six innings and lost for just the second time in his last nine starts. Roark has a 2.25 ERA over that stretch.
“I felt good, I felt confident,” Roark said. “I had command on both sides of the plate. My offspeed was good.”
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Domonic Brown’s RBI single and went up 2-0 on Asche’s leadoff homer to deep right in the fifth.
“It was a changeup but it didn’t change,” Roark said. “It was right down the middle, thigh high, and he got me.”
After Washington closed within a run, Ruiz cleared the wall in left off left-hander Jerry Blevins to push Philadelphia’s advantage to 3-1.
Washington manager Matt Williams defended his choice of Blevins.
“Our bullpen back end guys can’t pitch every day,” he said. “The key was getting behind on Ruiz. Other than that, he pitched good. I’m not worried about anybody.”
Brown had two hits and an RBI for Philadelphia, which won for the fourth time in five games.
Wilson Ramos and Anthony Rendon homered for NL East-leading Washington, which lost for just the second time in 14 games.
Burnett (7-14) won for the first time since the All-Star break, allowing one run on three hits with just one walk. The right-hander entered leading the majors in walks with 76, but corrected a mechanical flaw in between starts.
“I wish I could have found that little glitch about a month, two months ago,” Burnett said. “Unfortunately it took a long time, but better late than never.”
Burnett retired the first eight batters before Roark’s two-out single in the third. It was just the pitcher’s sixth hit in 60 at-bats this season.
“His sinker was really sinking,” Roark said. “He had a good slider. He pitched well on both sides of the plate.”