PHILADELPHIA — It was a memorable afternoon for a pair of unproven big leaguers in Nationals pitcher Erick Fedde and catcher Spencer Kieboom.
Fedde, 25, and Kieboom, 27, excelled on both offense and defense as the Nationals defeated the host Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 on Tuesday in the opener of a doubleheader.
Fedde (1-4) picked up just his second big league win and got his first major-league hit, while Kieboom blasted his first homer in The Show. Both of their hits came back to back in the fifth.
“I have gotten more and more confident as the season goes on,” said Kieboom, who is now hitting .210 in 105 at-bats.
In his eighth start of the season, Fedde gave up just two hits and no runs in 5 2/3 innings. He turned the game over to the Washington bullpen and Sean Doolittle got his 23rd save of the season and first since July 5 despite allowing a run in the ninth.
The game was a makeup after the series opener Monday was postponed due to “wet grounds,” after the Phillies did not cover the infield with tarp for much of last weekend.
“Honestly it is not the ideal surface,” Kieboom said. “But at the same time I know those guys (on the grounds crew) worked their tails off. I guess our only concern as players is that nobody gets hurt.”
“Don’t worry about the field – just play,” was Nationals manager Dave Martinez’s message.
The third-place Nationals (72-72) are now 2 ½ games back of second-place and fading Philadelphia (74-69) in the National League East. Washington began the day 8½ games behind first-place Atlanta.
Former Nationals minor leaguer Nick Pivetta (7-12) started for the Phillies and allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman also had RBI for the Nationals.
NOTES: The American flags back of the center field fence were half-mast for memories of the 9-11 terrorist attacks … The scheduled starters in the second game Tuesday were Tanner Roark of Washington against Jake Arrieta of the Phillies.