Phils beat Nats with Utley's help to move into first place

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was 88 degrees when 45-year-old Jamie Moyer's first pitch of the evening was redirected over the out-of-town scoreboard.

Three batters later, he gave up a double. That was followed by another homer.

And then Moyer didn't allow another hit until the fifth inning, by which time his Philadelphia Phillies had provided a big lead. Chase Utley homered for the second consecutive game, the big blow in a five-run fifth, and the Phillies beat Washington 8-5 Wednesday night to move back atop the NL East with their fourth victory in a row.

Shane Victorino provided three hits, three RBIs and three runs, including a solo homer, to help Moyer (10-6) win his third straight decision. He earned his 240th career victory, tying him with Frank Tanana for 12th place among left-handers in major league history.

Brad Lidge pitched around a leadoff double in the ninth for his 26th save in 26 chances.

Moyer went six innings, allowing three runs -- on first-inning homers by Willie Harris and Jesus Flores -- and six hits. Harris' shot was Washington's first leadoff homer since May 2007.

"Tough first inning -- he got out of it. He settled down," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "It was real hot tonight. He was definitely getting gassed. He was tired at the end."

But Moyer did exactly what was needed to fool the Nationals after the first inning.

"I know it's a matter of making adjustments and keeping on course and keeping damage to a minimum and go from there," Moyer said.

Here's how Nationals manager Manny Acta described Moyer's effectiveness: "Location, location, location -- like real estate, that's what pitching's all about."

Acta's team has lost its past eight games to drop to a major league-worst 38-69.

The Phillies, meanwhile, took a half-game division lead over the New York Mets, who lost to the Florida Marlins 7-5. With the non-waiver trade deadline arriving Thursday, Manuel said he wouldn't mind adding a piece for the stretch run.

"We'll play with what we've got, but you can always use somebody who's going to push you over the hump who can make you quite a bit better -- we can always use that," Manuel said. "We're always looking for that kind of guy. Probably every manager in baseball is."

There's been speculation Victorino might be involved in a swap. He's batting .372 with four homers and nine RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.

"It's probably a coincidence," Victorino said.

Said his manager: "When Victorino plays and has a good night and shows you how much ability he has, he's a tremendous player."

So, too, is Utley, although after he went 14 games and more than 55 at-bats without going deep, prompting questions about his health, he hit a two-run homer to help beat Washington 2-1 Tuesday. After that game, he said he wasn't ailing.

Utley hit another two-run shot Wednesday, giving him 27 homers this season.

The latest came off Tim Redding (7-6), who faced five batters in the fifth inning and allowed all five to score. It began with No. 8 hitter Carlos Ruiz's single, and then Redding walked Moyer.

"That's completely inexcusable," Redding said. "It's tough enough pitching to these guys -- especially these guys, with the lineup they have -- with nobody on. You put people on, all of a sudden you're dancing with danger."

Jimmy Rollins followed with an RBI double -- which might have been a triple if Moyer hadn't been ahead of him on the base paths -- and Victorino delivered a two-run single. Next came Utley's homer and that was it for Redding, who gave up seven runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings. He has one win in his past 13 starts, and discounted the thought that he might be traded by Washington.

"I just pitched poorly enough," the right-hander said, "that anybody that might be interested is no longer interested."

Game notes
Victorino's ninth homer, leading off the seventh, ended Steven Shell's 15-inning scoreless streak, the longest by a Nationals reliever in 2008. ... Phillies LF Pat Burrell had his NL-high 11th outfield assist. ... Moyer's win total ranks fifth among active pitchers.