Phillies 11, Nationals 2


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ryan Howard hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth inning to help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 11-2 on Monday night.

It was Howard’s 13th homer in May and he has 33 RBIs in the month for the Phillies, who have won two straight games.

Clay Condrey (1-0) pitched four strong innings in relief of injured starter Jon Lieber to earn the win. Condrey, who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2003 with San Diego, yielded an unearned run on three hits. He struck out three and walked one.

Lieber left the game for a pinch-hitter in the second inning. He suffered a left groin strain while fielding a ground ball in the top half of the inning.

Ryan Zimmerman homered for the Nationals, who have lost two of three since rattling off a season-high four-game winning streak. It was his ninth homer of the season.

Washington starter Michael O’Connor (2-3) was struck on the left ankle by a Chase Utley line drive in the sixth inning. After a couple of warm-up pitches, O’Connor departed.

Gary Majewski came in and got the first out. After a walk to Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard hit a line drive into the front row of the leftfield seats. It was his 18th homer, tied for second with Washington’s Alfonso Soriano in the NL behind St. Louis’ Albert Pujols (25).

The Phillies added five runs in the seventh as Burrell and David Bell each collected two-run singles and Aaron Rowand doubled home another run. Bell finished with three hits.

Philadelphia scored its first two runs on a Bobby Abreu RBI groundout and a Sal Fasano RBI double.

O’Connor was pitching well before his injury. He retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced, with the only hits coming from Utley, who tripled in the third. He was left stranded when O’Connor struck out Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell to end the threat.

O’Connor surrendered three runs and five hits while striking out five.

Notes: Natalie Gulbis, who plays on the LPGA tour, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Mike Lieberthal, who was activated from the 15-day DL before the game, pinch-hit for Lieber and flied out. … Zimmerman leads all NL rookies with nine home runs. … Howard has a team-high eight errors. … Condrey had an unassisted pickoff of Alfonso Soriano at second base. … Howard’s 13 homers in the month is two shy of the Phillies record for any month – Cy Williams (May 1923) and Jim Thome (June 2004).

AP-ES-05-29-06 2204EDT