First Posted: 9/17/2013
WASHINGTON — Tanner Roark threw seven shutout innings, and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 to sweep a day-night doubleheader Tuesday, ensuring the Braves leave Washington without the NL East title.
Roark (7-0) allowed just two hits, struck out six and retired the final 13 batters he faced.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Ian Desmond hit an RBI double and Adam LaRoche a run-scoring single in the eighth inning. Steve Lombardozzi had a second-inning RBI single off Freddy Garcia (1-2).
Washington entered the nightcap, which followed the Nationals’ 6-5 win in the makeup of a series opener postponed by a shooting rampage a day earlier at the nearby Navy Yard, within 4½ games of Cincinnati for the NL’s second wild-card berth. The Nationals, who have won 10 of 11, have 11 games remaining.
The Braves have lost nine of 13, but they still lead the division by eight games.
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons allowed Denard Span’s grounder to bounce through his legs for a game-ending, two-run error, lifting the Nationals to the win in the first game that was a makeup of Monday’s postponement.
Phillies 6, Marlins 4
PHILADELPHIA — Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs, Roy Halladay tossed six effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins.
Halladay (4-4) allowed one run and four hits in his fifth start after returning from right shoulder surgery. The two-time Cy Young Award winner didn’t top 88 mph and relied on guile to get outs.
The top three hitters in Philadelphia’s lineup — Cesar Hernandez, Jimmy Rollins and Utley — were 8 for 12 with four RBIs and six runs.
Marlins starter Brian Flynn (0-2) gave up six runs and 11 hits in six innings.
Jonathan Papelbon allowed an RBI single to Giancarlo Stanton before finishing for his 28th save in 35 chances.
Padres 5, Pirates 2
PITTSBURGH — Jedd Gyorko blasted a 3-run homer among his three hits as San Diego topped Pittsburgh.
Ronny Cedeno added three hits for San Diego, which beat the Pirates for the second straight night to put a dent in Pittsburgh’s pursuit of its first NL Central title. St. Louis and Pittsburgh entered the day tied for first in the division.
Luke Gregerson worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Eric Stults (9-13) allowed two runs over five innings to pick up his first win in more than two months. Stults struck out five and walked one.
Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 3 and Marlon Byrd drove in both of Pittsburgh’s runs, but the Pirates continued to have problems with the Padres.
Jeff Locke (10-6) struggled with his command, allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings, striking out five and walking three as his second-half struggles reappeared.