PHILADELPHIA – A mechanical adjustment in between starts helped A.J. Burnett out of a funk.
Burnett struck out 12 in seven innings and Cody Asche and Carlos Ruiz homered to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday.
“I just noticed something with my delivery, or the leg kick,” Burnett said. “I just noticed something wasn’t right. I was like, ‘That’s not me out there. Who is that?’ It’s the first time I felt like me in a long time.”
Domonic Brown had two hits and an RBI for Philadelphia, which won for the fourth time in five games.
Wilson Ramos and Anthony Rendon homered for NL East-leading Washington, which lost for just the second time in 14 games.
Burnett (7-14) won for the first time since the All-Star break, allowing one run on three hits with just one walk. The right-hander entered leading the majors in walks with 76.
“I wish I could have found that little glitch about a month, two months ago,” Burnett said. “Unfortunately it took a long time, but better late than never.”
Tanner Roark (12-8) gave up two runs on five hits in six innings and lost for just the second time in his last nine starts. Roark has a 2.25 ERA over that stretch.
“I felt good, I felt confident,” Roark said. “I had command on both sides of the plate. My offspeed (pitch) was good.”
Burnett retired the first eight batters before Roark’s two-out single in the third. It was just the pitcher’s sixth hit in 60 at-bats this season.
The Nationals didn’t get another hit until Rendon’s one-out homer to left in the sixth that pulled them within 2-1. It was the third homer in 15 at-bats for Rendon off Burnett.
Burnett had been 0-6 with a 6.41 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break prior to Monday.
Cardinals 3, Pirates 2
In Pittsburgh, Matt Holliday’s two-run single in the seventh inning off Jared Hughes capped a late rally, and St. Louis beat the Pirates.
Jon Jay’s pinch-hit single tied the game with two outs in the seventh and Holliday followed with a sharp single to left off Hughes (6-4) to score Jay and Matt Carpenter.
Brewers 10, Padres 1
In San Diego, Kyle Lohse pitched six strong innings while Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez hit home runs to lift Milwaukee past the Padres.
Lohse (12-7) allowed a run and four hits over six innings in making his first start since spraining his right ankle on Aug. 13. He beat San Diego for the fourth straight time.
Rockies 3, Giants 2
In San Francisco, rookie Tyler Matzek struck out seven in seven innings to end a five-start losing streak, and Colorado capitalized on the Giants’ mistakes for a win.
The Rockies have won four straight games in San Francisco for the first time in club history, kicking off a stretch of 13 straight games against the NL West with an impressive victory.
Matzek (3-9) outdueled Jake Peavy (2-4), who had won his previous two starts following three straight losses after being acquired in a trade from Boston on July 26.