Madson closes out Phillies win over Nationals

WASHINGTON -- There was plenty of drama over who would come out of the Philadelphia Phillies' bullpen in the ninth inning.

Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz had hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning to give the Phillies a 6-5 lead over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

Chan Ho Park pitched a scoreless eighth for the defending World Series champions.

Then came the question: Would closer Brad Lidge get another chance a night after his 10th blown save?

Ryan Madson pitched the ninth instead of the struggling Lidge, earning his sixth save in 11 chances as Philadelphia beat the Nationals for the ninth straight time.

"When the eighth inning rolled around and I didn't pitch, I didn't know what to expect," Madson said. "If they call my name I'll be ready to go get some outs -- that's what I was thinking."

Madson replaced Lidge during the ninth inning Tuesday, leading to speculation about whether Lidge, who was perfect in 41 save attempts last season, might have lost his closer role.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel didn't say who would be pitching the ninth before Wednesday's game, but when it came time Lidge stayed in the bullpen and Madson took the mound.

"Madson pitched good last night," Manuel said. "I like him, plus I wanted to leave Lidge alone."

Madson gave up a leadoff single to Justin Maxwell -- who had a career-high three hits -- but struck out Cristian Guzman and got Adam Dunn to line into a game-ending double play.

Madson's save came after Park pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. Park replaced starter Cliff Lee with runners on first and second and walked Elijah Dukes before retiring three straight pinch-hitters: Willie Harris flied out, Pete Orr had a sacrifice fly and Wil Nieves grounded out.

"We had bases loaded with no outs, and we only got one run out of that," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. "It comes back to haunt us."

Lee (6-2) pitched seven-plus innings, allowing five runs and 10 hits.

"Obviously it's better when I pitch into the eighth inning instead of three innings," said Lee, who lost his last two starts. "I'm pleased with how things went."

Werth's leadoff drive on a 3-1 pitch from Tyler Clippard (2-2) gave the Phillies a 5-4 lead. It was his second in two games and No. 33 on the year.

Feliz followed with his 10th of the season, a shot that landed in the left-field seats beyond Philadelphia's bullpen.

It was the Phillies' 10th set of back-to-back homers and second in two games. Werth and Raul Ibanez had consecutive drives in the seventh inning of Philadelphia's 5-3 win over the Nationals on Tuesday night.

The home runs pushed the Phillies ahead after they had stranded three runners at third base.

"It's how we're getting it done right now," Werth said. "The way things are going lately, we're overanalyzing too much. We get what we can."

The Nationals tied it at 4 in the seventh. Alberto Gonzalez led off with his third double of the game and advanced on pinch-hitter Jorge Padilla's bunt single. With one out, Guzman hit a grounder to shortstop Jimmy Rollins that looked like a double play. But second baseman Chase Utley lost the ball as he tried to transfer it to his throwing hand, allowing Gonzalez to score.

Even though the Phillies have questions surrounding their bullpen and have had some tough times on offense lately, Werth said they're feeling good as they head into the final weeks of the season. Philadelphia entered the day with a six-game lead in the NL East.

"We're a first-place team. We're world champs. We know our identity and who we are," Werth said. "It's a long season. Just because for a couple of weeks, we haven't played like we played before doesn't matter. It's where you finish."

Game notes
Phillies LHP Scott Eyre was sent to Philadelphia to have his sore left elbow examined. ... Phillies LHP Jamie Moyer will start Saturday against New York in place of J.A. Happ, who was scratched from Monday's start with an oblique strain. ... Philadelphia promoted LHP Sergio Escalona and 1B Andy Tracy from the minors. ... Nationals C Jesus Flores grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the fifth, his first appearance after missing 106 games with a right shoulder injury. ... Gonzalez's three doubles were a career high.