PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Alfonso Soriano's combination of power and
speed has put him in elite company.
Soriano became the third player in major league history to have
at least four seasons of 30 homers and 30 stolen bases, and Tony
Armas Jr. pitched 5 1/3 effective innings for the Nationals.
Soriano, who was 4-for-6, led off the game with his 39th homer
and stole his 30th base in the second inning. Only Bobby and Barry
Bonds have reached those numbers five times.
"It is good, but I'm working hard to get better in the field
and to make my team better," Soriano said. "So whatever number
that I put [up] this year, maybe I want to enjoy after the season,
but not now. It is more important for me to win and make the team
With one more homer and one more assist, Soriano will become the
first player ever to have 40 homers, 30 steals and 20 outfield
assists in a season. He initially objected to moving to left field
from second base after joining Washington this season.
"He's an exciting player," Nationals manager Frank Robinson
Mike Lieberthal homered and had three RBI for the Phillies, who
remained 2½ games back in the NL wild-card race. Philadelphia has
lost two in a row after three straight wins against the
East-leading New York Mets.
Armas (8-8) gave up three runs and six hits to win for the first
time since July 23. He lost three consecutive starts, but got a
no-decision when he didn't allow an earned run in seven innings in
a loss to the Mets last Sunday.
Brett Myers (8-6) was terrible for the fourth straight start,
lasting just 3 1-3 innings. He gave up six runs and nine hits in
his second-shortest outing this season, and has a 9.45 ERA this
Myers had three solid outings after returning from a leave of
absence that followed his arrest for domestic violence in Boston
two months ago.
"It's just not working right now," Myers said.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is concerned about his staff
"We need Brett if we're going to win anything," Manuel said.
"We got to get him going."
Soriano drove Myers' third pitch 451 feet way beyond the
center-field wall. It was his ninth leadoff homer this season and
it tied his career high in homers set with the New York Yankees in
After Felipe Lopez singled, Zimmerman lined a two-run shot into
the left-field seats to make it 3-0. It was the fifth homer allowed
by Myers in a span of eight batters over two games.
"I feel fine physically," Myers said. "No excuses, I still
have to make pitches."
Zimmerman ripped a two-run double down the left-field line to
make it 5-0 in the second. He blooped a single to right field to
extend the lead to 6-0 in the fourth.
The Phillies chased Armas with three runs in the sixth inning.
Pat Burrell doubled home Chase Utley for the first run. After Aaron
Rowand's infield single, Lieberthal drove in both runners with a
double to straightaway center to make it 6-3.
But Saul Rivera entered and struck out Abraham Nunez and retired
pinch-hitter Danny Sandoval on a pop-up to third base one pitch
after the rookie hooked a liner 10 feet outside the right-field
Lieberthal passed Red Dooin for the most games caught in
team history, 1,125. He threw out two baserunners trying to steal
second base. ... The last-place Nationals have won three of four.
... Myers' shortest outing was 2 2-3 innings against the Mets on
June 14. He gave up five earned runs in that one. ... Nunez's
nine-game hitting streak ended. ... Soriano has 39 career leadoff