PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Phillies’ tepid offense couldn’t overcome more first-inning struggles for starter Kyle Kendrick.
Jayson Werth homered and drove in four runs, and Tanner Roark pitched seven strong innings to lead the Washington Nationals to a 10-3 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday.
Ryan Zimmerman also went deep and had two RBIs, Ian Desmond knocked in two runs, and Anthony Rendon had three hits and an RBI for Washington
Kendrick entered leading the majors with 21 earned runs in the opening frame. That went up to 24 when the first three batters of the game scored on Werth’s three-run homer.
Kendrick retired the next 14 batters, but the damage was already done.
“It was a tough tone set for us early on in the game, and we didn’t bounce back from that,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Rebounded has been deal for the struggling Philadelphia offense. The Phillies finished a forgettable first half in familiar fashion, producing little offense against Roark and Ross Detwiler.
They scored two unearned runs off Aaron Barrett in the ninth to end with three runs or fewer for the 49th time this season.
The Phillies dropped to 8-41 overall and 2-29 in their last 31 games when failing to score four runs. Cody Asche had two doubles and an RBI for Philadelphia, which fell 10 games behind first-place Washington in the NL East.
“We didn’t get anything going on the offensive side of things,” Sandberg said.
Kendrick (4-9) continued his pattern of struggling badly in the first inning and then pitching well.
Werth followed consecutive singles by Denard Span and Rendon to lead off the game with an opposite-field shot that quickly made it 3-0.
Kendrick ran into trouble in the sixth when the Nationals scored four runs off him and left-handed reliever Mario Hollands. Kendrick allowed Rendon’s single to start the frame and then hit Werth to put runners on first and second before getting Adam LaRoche to fly out.
Zimmerman’s one-out sacrifice fly scored Rendon and chased Kendrick. Hollands then surrendered three straight hits, including Desmond’s two-run double and Jose Lobaton’s RBI single, that broke the game open.
Kendrick left after allowing five runs and five hits with five strikeouts and no walks in 5 2/3 innings. The focus afterward was on his continuous first-inning struggles.