12 runs in first inning lift Philadelphia Phillies past Washington Nationals

By Jeff Neiburg, The Sports Xchange
The Philadelphia Phillies scored 12 runs in the first inning on Saturday, April 8, 2017 to defeat the Washington Nationals 17-3, setting a club record in the process. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Phillies via Twitter
The Philadelphia Phillies scored 12 runs in the first inning on Saturday, April 8, 2017 to defeat the Washington Nationals 17-3, setting a club record in the process. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Phillies via Twitter

PHILADELPHIA -- By the time Philadelphia catcher Cameron Rupp swung and missed at Enny Romero's 2-2 pitch for the final out of the first inning, 53 minutes had gone by since Phillies starter Aaron Nola delivered the game's first pitch.

One inning down and the game was basically over.


The Phillies made club history, scoring a team-record 12 runs in the first inning and routing the Washington Nationals 17-3 on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

"When you get pitches to hit, you have to hit them," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "We took advantage of a lot of mistakes by the pitching staff and it's great to see. Hopefully we saved some for tomorrow with facing Strasburg."

Nationals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who earlier in the day had his contract purchased from the minors, seemed ripe for the taking from the outset, giving up a leadoff double to shortstop Cesar Hernandez that was followed by a Howie Kendrick single.

Ten batters later, Guthrie's night was finished. The veteran right-hander faced 12 batters and gave up 10 earned runs, six hits and four walks.

Romero allowed two runs himself while facing four batters. The Phillies greeted the left-hander with back-to-back RBI doubles from Maikel Franco and Michael Saunders.

Tommy Joseph's single up the middle drove in Saunders to give the Phillies their 12th run of the inning.

Kendrick, Saunders and Joseph all had two hits in the inning.

Guthrie even walked Nola to load the bases for Hernandez, who walked to make the score 5-0. That walk set up the crushing blow, a bases-clearing triple from Kendrick to make it 8-0.

Both of the outs Guthrie got in the inning were sacrifice flies.

"Warming up, I had every anticipation that today would be a good day on the mound," Guthrie said. "It just wasn't."


The 12 runs in the first were the most the Nationals have ever surrendered in an inning, including the franchise's time in Montreal.

"It's fun when it's on your side but boy it's a nightmare when it's on the other side," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "You can't feel any more helpless than that."

The lead was plenty for Nola, who needed to get out of a bases-loaded jam himself in the top of the first. Nola quickly retired the side with three strikeouts in the top of the second after a long delay getting back on the mound for the second time.

Washington (3-2) joined the fun in the fourth when Jayson Werth singled home Daniel Murphy to make the score 13-1. Nola had retired seven straight Nationals batters before Murphy doubled with one out in the fourth.

Murphy's sixth-inning double was followed by Werth's two-run single to get the Nationals within 10. Werth was thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double.

Nola, who had a rough spring, was making his first start in a meaningful game since having his season cut short in 2016 with right arm issues. His 2017 debut was solid.


The seventh overall pick in 2014 showed solid movement on his pitches in his six innings. He allowed three earned runs, seven hits and two walks to go with seven strikeouts.

"After getting out of that first inning and we scored all of those runs, I told myself I had to lock it in right now," Nola said. "As a pitcher, it's pretty easy to kind of zone out right there, because you've got so many runs. I had to tell myself to lock it in. I felt like I did that for the most part."

Philadelphia (2-3) made it 14-3 on Joseph's sacrifice fly in the sixth and added two runs in the seventh, which included a solo home run from Andres Blanco. Rupp hit an opposite field home run in the eighth to give the game its final score.

The 17 runs were the most by the Phillies in a game since scoring 22 in a 2009 game against Cincinnati.

"It's one of those games where you love to be on our side," Mackanin said. "We're going to have some where we're on the other side and it's no fun. I'm enjoying it tonight."


NOTES: The Phillies win stopped a streak of seven consecutive home losses to Washington. ... Washington SS Trea Turner left in the first inning with an apparent hamstring injury suffered while running the bases. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said he expects Turner to be out for a few days. ... Philadelphia entered Saturday ranked first in the National League in walks and received five more. ... Sunday's series finale features Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 2.57 ERA) against Phillies RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 1.80).

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