The slugger, however, might find things more difficult facing red-hot Cole Hamels .
Werth and the visiting Washington Nationals hope to keep picking up ground in the NL wild-card race Monday night when they open a three-game series against Hamels and the Phillies.
Werth belted the go-ahead RBI double in a three-run eighth inning as Washington rallied for a 6-5 victory to salvage the series finale against the Mets on Sunday. The Nationals (69-67), who have won eight of 11, trail Cincinnati by 6 1/2 games for the final wild-card berth."There is a lot of baseball left," manager Davey Johnson said. "We just have to keep chugging away one game at a time."
Werth went 2 for 5 with two doubles, leaving him with an NL-leading .374 batting average since July 1. He also tops the league with 13 home runs and ranks second with 44 RBIs during that stretch."He's been swinging the bat good," Johnson said. "He's driven."
The right fielder, who played for the Phillies (62-75) from 2007-10 and won a World Series title in 2008, is batting .459 with four homers and 11 RBIs against his old club this season. Only his .480 average versus Milwaukee is better among teams he's faced more than three times this year.
Although Werth homered off Hamels (6-13, 3.58 ERA) in a 4-2 loss at Citizens Bank Park on July 9, he's just 3 for 18 lifetime in their matchups.
The left-hander has given just about everyone trouble lately, going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his last six starts. He struck out eight and gave up two runs over seven innings in Wednesday's 6-2 victory over the Mets."He's pitched well all year," said interim manager Ryne Sandberg , whose club seeks its seventh win in nine home games after dropping the final two of a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
Hamels is 14-6 with a 2.57 ERA in 26 career starts versus the Nationals, against whom he is 7-1 with a 3.13 ERA in his last eight home starts.
Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.96) has struggled with a 1-5 record and 4.98 ERA on the road, but he came an out away from a complete-game victory at Wrigley on Aug. 22 before giving up a game-tying two-run homer in a 5-4, 13-inning win. He struck out eight while allowing four runs over 8 2-3 innings.
The right-hander was limited to two scoreless innings Wednesday due to rain in a 4-3 win over Miami. He's 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA while limiting opponents to a .188 batting average over his last five starts.
Strasburg is 2-0 with 19 strikeouts in two starts versus the Phillies this year and pitched a four-hitter Aug. 11 for his first shutout.
Jimmy Rollins is 2 for 16 with six strikeouts versus Strasburg and hitting .172 in his last 16 games against the Nationals.
The Phillies have won five of seven at home between the teams, but the Nationals lead the season series 7-6.
|August 22, 2013||Ian Desmond||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|August 17, 2013||Taylor Jordan||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|August 13, 2013||Wilson Ramos||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left hamstring|
|August 11, 2013||Jayson Werth||Day-to-Day||Right knee|
|August 01, 2013||Ross Ohlendorf||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 01, 2013||Ross Ohlendorf||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 30, 2013||Domonic Brown||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right Achilles|
|August 28, 2013||Cody Asche||Day-to-Day||Strained left hamstring|
|August 26, 2013||Casper Wells||15-Day DL||Vision complications|
|August 17, 2013||Michael Young||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left ankle|
|August 15, 2013||John Lannan||60-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|August 14, 2013||John Lannan||Day-to-Day||Knee|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Jimmy Rollins was just hoping for a chance. When Cesar Hernandez provided that opportunity, he made the most of it.
Rollins hit a tying RBI double and scored on Carlos Ruiz 's single in Philadelphia's two-run eighth inning, helping the Phillies edge the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Monday night.
Hernandez started the winning rally with a two-out walk against Tyler Clippard (6-3). He came around to score on Rollins' double.
"I was really hoping (Hernandez got on base) so I could get up there and have a chance to do something," Rollins said. "We put some at-bats together and it worked out."
After Chase Utley was walked intentionally, Ruiz drove in Rollins with a single to left.
B.J. Rosenberg (1-0) recorded the final out of the eighth for the win and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 24th save in 30 chances.
"That was really a tough one; it really hurt," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "It was like a stab in the heart."
The Nationals put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, but Wilson Ramos was called out on strikes and Anthony Rendon struck out swinging to end the game.
Ryan Zimmerman homered for Washington, which had won nine of 12. The Nationals fell 7 1/2 games back of Cincinnati for the second NL wild card.
"We had opportunities . but we couldn't get it done," Johnson said.
The Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the eighth on Scott Hairston 's bases-loaded sacrifice fly that scored Rendon. Hernandez, a converted infielder who was playing his first career game in center, fielded the ball in shallow center field but his throw went weakly up the third-base line.
Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels and Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg each pitched well before turning a tie game over to the bullpens.
"It was quite a pitchers' battle," Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Hamels struck out eight in seven sharp innings, limiting the Nationals to one run and two hits. He threw 87 pitches, 69 for strikes.
Hamels has a 1.90 ERA in his last seven starts but has just two wins during that span. The left-hander's record stands at 6-13, thanks partly to the fourth-lowest run support (3.44) among all major league starters entering Monday's action.
The performance was somewhat surprising considering Hamels struggled to find his rhythm in his pregame bullpen session.
"Sometimes later in the year it's hard to get loose," he said.
But facing Strasburg helped, he said.
"Anytime you get to compete against the best, you try to up your game," Hamels said. "You try to throw zeroes just like he's doing. I definitely would take pitching against him more often than not because you feel like you really do have to strive for perfection."
Strasburg fanned 10 while giving up an unearned run and two hits in six innings. He threw 100 pitches, 64 for strikes.
The right-hander said he struggled maintaining his grip on the ball on a humid evening that began with a gametime temperature of 81 degrees.
"I was sweating a lot out there," he said. "It affected me not being able to pitch more innings. Strange circumstances but I have to be able to deal with it. It was tough gripping the ball like I usually do."
Zimmerman connected on an 0-2 pitch in the first for his 16th homer. Washington got just two baserunners off Hamels from that point, with Ramos reaching on an error in the fifth and Bryce Harper singling in the sixth.
Strasburg was equally stingy. His only blemish was Ruiz's broken-bat RBI single in the fourth that scored Rollins, who had walked. It was an unearned run because Rollins reached second when Ramos' throw trying to pick him off at first hit Utley's bat and went to the backstop.
Strasburg's record, like Hamels', isn't indicative of how well he has pitched. Strasburg has a 2.41 ERA in his last six starts but has just one win during the stretch.
The teams combined to use seven relievers after the starters left.
NOTES: Johnson said Harper has a sore hip. "He keeps saying, `I'm fine, I'm fine.' He's a tough kid," Johnson said. "That's the way he is." Harper missed 31 games with a left knee injury earlier this season. ... Hairston entered with a .412 average (14 for 34) and five homers against Hamels, but went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts against the lanky lefty. ... The three-game series continues Tuesday night when Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-6, 3.56 ERA) opposes RHP Ethan Martin (2-3, 6.39 ERA). ... INF Freddy Galvis and RHP Tyler Cloyd were among the six players the Phillies called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Philadelphia also recalled relievers Luis Garcia , Mauricio Robles and Joe Savery , and purchased the contract of C Cameron Rupp from Lehigh Valley.