By Jack McCaffery
PHILADELPHIA >> The Phillies
continued to project a familiar feel in their post-Ryne Sandberg era
Sunday when they lost, 3-2, to the Washington Nationals in the first
game of a Citizens Bank Park doubleheader.
Despite a Jeff Francoeur home run and a
capable start by Kevin Correia, the Phillies ran their losing streak
to three games, two under interim manager Pete Mackanin, who replaced
Correia struck out three in 5 1-3
innings, surrendering seven hits but just one earned run. His record
fell to 0-2. The Nats' Stephen Strasburg struck out nine in seven
innings, allowing four hits and two runs, to improve to 5-5.
The loss dropped the Phils 16.5 games
behind Washington in the N.L. East.
Francoeur hit a second-inning home run
deep to left, his fifth of the season, to give the Phils a 1-0 lead.
His fifth-inning error, however, helped Washington tie the game.
Denard Span laced a double into the
right field corner, which Francoeur bobbled twice. Span took third on
the error and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Danny Espinosa.
Correia walked Clint Robinson to open
the sixth, and Dan Uggla followed with a single. After Ian Desmond
skied to center, Robinson scored on Michael Taylor's double to left,
giving Washington the lead and chasing Correia.
But Mackanin allowed Jeanmar Gomez to
face only Strasburg, who would ground to second, then called for Jake
Diekman. Diekman walked Span, then threw a wild pitch, allowing Uggla
to score for a 3-1 Nationals lead.
The Phils pulled within 3-2 on
Francoeur's single to center in the bottom of the inning after a
Maikel Franco single and a walk to Ryan Howard.
With Cesar Hernandez on second after a
single and a stolen base, David Carpenter struck out Howard to end an
eighth-inning Phillies threat.
Drew Storen handled the Phils in the
ninth for his 23rd save.
Before the game, the Phillies activated
Severino Gonzalez (2-2, 8.69 ERA), who was to face the Nationals'
Tanner Roark (2-2, 3.25) in the second game of the doubleheader.
TWO THUMBS UP
n Stephen Strasburg was in control.
n Denard Span was everywhere.
TWO THUMBS DOWN
n Jake Diekman provided no relief.
n Cody Asche is not showing a