Washington Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park, Thursday, April 16, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon
April 16, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) Michael A. Taylor rebounded from his latest outfield mishap with a big home run for the Washington Nationals.

Doug Fister pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Yunel Escobar also homered and the Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 Thursday night.

Taylor's error in center field helped the Phillies take the lead before his homer in the fifth put Washington ahead 3-2.

''It's nice to get that hit,'' Taylor said. ''Didn't make me feel any better.''

On Monday in Boston, Taylor had two balls drop near him for hits.

Thursday, Carlos Ruiz's drive hit off his glove for a two-base error and Taylor got some advice from coach Tony Tarasco.

''He said `don't drop the ball,''' the 24-year-old Taylor said, smiling. ''It's great coaching,''

Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run double for Washington which, after averaging 2.4 runs through its first seven games, has 22 runs and 28 hits over its last three.

Fister (1-0) allowed two runs on four hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking four.

''I think he got a little tired in the last inning,'' manager Matt Williams said. ''Other than that he was good, in command the whole game.''

Drew Storen pitched the ninth for his third save.

Cole Hamels (0-2) gave up five runs and five hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out seven. The left-hander had allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last 15 starts against Washington.

He's already allowed seven home runs after allowing 14 all of 2014.

''It seems like when he's elevated, the hitters haven't missed it up to this point,'' Sandberg said.

With his team having lost four straight and averaging just 2.4 runs per game this year, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg tinkered with his lineup, moving struggling first baseman Ryan Howard from fourth to seventh.

It was Howard's first time batting seventh April 2006. He went 1 for 3 with an intentional walk. Jeff Francouer slipped into the fourth spot and went 1 for 3 with a walk.

''Do I feel I can hit fourth? Yeah, I know I can,'' Howard said.

Taylor's drop helped the Phillies take a 2-1 lead, but an inning later he got the run back, hitting Hamels' 2-0 pitch into the Phillies' bullpen, giving Washington a 3-2 lead.

Zimmerman's double made it 5-2 in the sixth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: OF Domonic Brown (left achilles tendinitis) is expected to join Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday as he continues a rehab assignment. He went 4 for 14 with a homer in five games with Class A Clearwater.

Nationals: Williams said RHP Craig Stammen, who went on the DL with right forearm stiffness Wednesday, will need surgery to repair a torn flexor. ... OF Denard Span (right core muscle surgery) played seven innings for Class A Hagerstown Thursday night in his second rehab game, going 3 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs. He'll start again at Hagerstown on Friday night.

HEARING HARPER'S FOOTSTEPS

When Werth scored from second on Zimmerman's double, he was nearly caught by Harper from first. ''I had to go back with nobody out and tag.'' Werth said. ''I came around third and (third base coach Bob) Henley put the stop sign up, so when I crossed home plate I was surprised to see Bryce right behind me. You know, run `til they tag you.''

HAMELS BALKING INTO TROUBLE

Washington's scored a run after Hamels balked Harper to second and Wilson Ramos hit an RBI single. It was Hamels second balk this season. He six career balks coming in. ''I guess my foot crossed. I just don't understand where the actual crossline is. I guess I'll have to look that up,'' he said. ''.twice in one year, and I normally don't ever balk.''

UP NEXT

Nationals free-agent acquisition Max Scherzer (0-1, 0.66) makes his third start in a rematch of Sunday's starters. The right hander has allowed four runs, one earned, on 10 hits over 13 2-3 innings. Philadelphia's Sean O'Sullivan (0-0, 3.00 ERA) makes his first career start at Nationals Park.

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