WASHINGTON (AP) — Philadelphia starter A.J. Burnett decided to make a statement with the first pitch he threw after giving up a three-run homer in the second inning.
That statement had consequences.
Burnett and Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg were both ejected when Burnett intentionally threw ball one to Jayson Werth and motioned and yelled toward home plate umpire Chris Guccione.
“I did ask him twice in the first and second if that was out or that was down. Yeah, it was out, it was down, okay,” Burnett said. “And the one I threw purposefully out, I said the same thing, but I said it more of a statement than a question. I said `That’s out.’ That was it, pretty quick trigger.”
Burnett (6-11) was done after 1 2-3 innings. He allowed five runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks, in what he said was his first career ejection. The Nationals went on to win 11-0 on Saturday night.
“No, he wasn’t (warning me) at all. It’s just one of those things where he felt like I showed him up in front of 40,000 people,” Burnett said.
Anthony Rendon homered and drove in four runs, Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven shutout innings for the Nationals.
Rendon singled, hit a three-run homer, and doubled in his first three at-bats.
Denard Span, Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilson Ramos each had two of Washington’s 14 hits, and every Nationals starter, including Zimmermann, hit safely.
“We’ve seen (Zimmermann) before, but he got the early lead,” Sandberg said “That had to feel good on his side. He pounded the zone with strikes.”
Zimmermann (7-5) held the Phillies to five singles and struck eight without a walk for his 50th career win, and first since June 30th.
He retired the last 11 batters he faced and left after throwing 97 pitches.
Sandberg said his chief concern in the wake of Burnett’s ejection was the condition of Philadelphia’s bullpen, especially after it had been forced to respond to Cliff Lee’s early exit in Thursday’s game.
“Well, as it turns out, the (staff) did a good job with the guys that we used. With (Cole) Hamels going tomorrow, things are set up pretty well for us,” Sandberg said.
Marlon Byrd had two hits for Philadelphia, which had won the first two games of the series 10-4 and 2-1.
Washington loaded the bases in the second inning on two walks and an error. After Span drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, Rendon connected on a 3-1 pitch from Burnett for his 14th home run, making it 5-0.
Bryce Harper’s RBI-single in the third made it 6-0.
Rendon’s double was the one of four straight hits that opened a five-run fourth against reliever Phillippe Aumont
Sandberg said outfielder Domonic Brown, suffering from strep throat, is day-to-day and that outfielder Marlon Byrd has suffered a bruised right foot “for about four or five days now.” There was no update on Lee.
Since joining the Phillies on July 11, Grady Sizemore is batting .353 (24-for-68) with six double and 10 runs scored. He’s reached base in 15 of 18 games.
Phillies: Cole Hamels (6-5, 2.55) has won four straight decisions. He makes his 30th career start against Washington Sunday. He’s 15-6 with a 2.63 ERA versus the Nationals.
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 3.55) is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in three home starts against the Phillies dating back to last season.