PHILADELPHIA — Tanner Roark won’t fly under the radar the way he’s pitching.
Roark threw seven impressive innings, Jayson Werth hit a solo homer and the Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 on Monday night.
Roark (14-7) allowed four singles and a walk, and he struck out five. Marc Rzepczynski tossed a perfect eighth and Mark Melancon finished off the four-hitter.
“It would be fine if people don’t notice because maybe he can surprise some people,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “I don’t think he really cares. He just wants the victories.”
The wins are piling up for Roark, who went from winning 15 games in 2014 to pitching in relief last year. He’s more focused on helping the NL East-leading Nationals win the division.
“August is a grinder month,” Roark said. “Everybody has to stay locked in. We all have bumps and bruises but we have to keep going.”
Phillies rookie Jake Thompson (1-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. It was the longest and best of his five career starts.
Werth lined a solo shot to left in the first against his former team. It was his third homer in four games. A member of Philadelphia’s 2008 World Series championship team, Werth was greeted by boos, as usual.
“Home runs come in streaks. When you start hitting a couple, you think about it,” Baker said. “I knew he was locked in watching him in BP. He was hitting them out and keeping them low.”
Bryce Harper raced home from first on Anthony Rendon’s single to left-center to make it 2-0 in the first. Clint Robinson and Trea Turner had RBI singles off Frank Herrmann in the ninth.
Thompson settled in nicely after a rough start. His last pitch was a nasty curve that froze Turner for strike three.
“It was night and day from my performance in the first four (starts),” Thompson said. “It’s kind of a relief. It feels a lot better.”
Roark didn’t need much support. The righty stifled the Phillies again. He’s 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA against them this season.
The Nationals snapped a two-game losing streak. They have a nine-game lead over the Marlins and Mets, the second-biggest division lead in baseball. The Chicago Cubs lead the NL Central by 14.0 games. Washington trails Chicago (83-47) by 7.5 games and the Texas Rangers (78-54) by 6.0 games.
Washington is 36-16 against the rest of the NL East. It’s the best division record in the majors.
OF Michael A. Taylor was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse by the Nationals. RHP Lucas Giolito was optioned down.
ODUBEL ON THE MOVE
Phillies All-Star CF Odubel Herrera will likely play a corner outfield spot in winter ball. Manager Pete Mackanin has been impressed with Aaron Altherr in center and prospect Roman Quinn also plays there.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg threw a bullpen session one week after he was placed on the DL with elbow soreness. Strasburg is expected to return to the rotation when he’s eligible.
RHP Max Scherzer (14-7) starts for the Nationals against RHP Jerad Eickhoff (9-12) on Tuesday night. Scherzer is 6-1 against the Phillies in nine career starts. Eickhoff had 10 strikeouts in his only career start vs. Washington on Sept. 25, 2015.
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