PHILADELPHIA — Phillies manager Pete Mackanin had to appreciate his team’s record start to Saturday’s game.
For Nationals skipper Dusty Baker, it was just a bad dream that wouldn’t end.
Howie Kendrick hit a bases-loaded triple while Philadelphia scored 12 runs for the biggest first inning in team history, and Philadelphia routed Washington 17-3.
Philadelphia piled up nine hits and four walks off Jeremy Guthrie (0-1) and Enny Romero in the first. The Phillies didn’t hit any homers in the inning, but did have three doubles. Maikel Franco, Michael Saunders and Tommy Joseph each had two RBIs while Washington set a team mark for runs allowed in an inning.
“It’s one of those games that you love to be on our side,” Mackanin said. “It was fun. You get a game like that, you have to enjoy it.”
The Nationals’ previous worst inning was a 10-spot by the Milwaukee Brewers on April 18, 2010.
“It was like a nightmare out there,” Baker said. “That’s the most runs starting out a game that I can ever remember. That was a real bad loss.”
Kendrick had three hits and four RBIs for the game, Saunders had three hits and two RBIs and Cameron Rupp homered and drove in three.
“You always want to be the team doing that,” Kendrick said. “You just cherish it.”
Phillies starter Aaron Nola (1-0) pitched six solid innings, allowing three runs, seven hits and two walks while striking out seven. The right-hander was 1-5 with a 9.82 ERA in his final eight starts last season before being shut down with a right elbow strain in August. A rough spring training didn’t ease concerns about the 2014 first-round pick, but Saturday’s outing likely did.
Nola had plenty of room for error after Philadelphia nearly matched the franchise mark for runs in an inning, set with 13 in the fourth at Cincinnati in 2003.
“I couldn’t ask for better run support,” he said. “I told myself I have to lock it in right now.”
Guthrie turned 38 on Saturday and was pitching in the majors for the first time since 2015. He was lifted after Odubel Herrera’s RBI infield single made it 9-0. His final line wasn’t pretty: 10 runs, six hits and four walks in two-thirds of an inning.
Andres Blanco also homered for Philadelphia, which snapped a seven-game home losing streak to the Nationals while winning for just the second time in the last 15 overall against Washington.
Saunders was a homer shy of the cycle.
The Nats put their first two batters on base in the first, and then Murphy laced a one-out single to right, but third base coach Bob Henley held Trea Turner to load the bases for Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman grounded sharply to third, and Franco made a strong play to step on the bag and fire to first base for a 5-3, inning-ending double play.
Washington’s Daniel Murphy had three hits and two doubles to raise his average to .524. He has at least two hits in all five games. Murphy is coming off a memorable 2016 season in which he hit .347 with 25 homers and 104 RBIs in his first year with the Nationals.
The Phillies haven’t made an error in their five games to start the season. They turned in a pair of defensive gems on Saturday with second baseman Cesar Hernandez’s putout of Zimmerman’s fourth-inning grounder and Blanco’s seventh-inning diving grab of Matt Wieters’ liner.
Washington committed a pair of errors, marking its first defensive miscues of the season.
Turner injured his hamstring when he made a quick stop after originally heading home on Murphy’s single to right in the first. Baker said he didn’t think the injury was that bad and expected Turner to miss only a couple of days.
Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 2.57) faces the Phillies on Sunday and is coming off seven strong innings against Miami in his first start this season.
He opposes Phillies righty Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 1.80), who allowed a run over five innings last time out at Cincinnati.
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