Game in a nutshell: Seeking their first sweep of a three-game series this season for the ninth time, the Nationals once again came up short. And this one stung a little more because of the man on the mound for the Phillies: Cole Hamels. A couple of weeks removed from his headline-making, suspension-inducing start at Nationals Park, the left-hander dominated the NL East leaders. Hamels carried a no-hitter into the sixth and departed after eight scoreless. Edwin Jackson tried to keep things close but was done in by some early struggles and wound up taking the loss. Adam LaRoche delivered a solo homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth, but it was too little, too late. On this night, Hamels rose above the rest.
Hitting lowlight: Tough to find highlights when you're completely shut down by the opposition. The Nationals did squat against Hamels for five innings, managing only three walks and no hits against the lefty. And even once they did get something going in the sixth, they found a way to not score. Danny Espinosa's leadoff double broke up the no-hitter, and Bryce Harper's single to right kept things going. But Espinosa (with third-base coach Bo Porter waving him around) tried to score and was nailed at the plate by Hunter Pence. Moments later, Ryan Zimmerman also singled to right, which would have scored Espinosa ... had he not just been thrown out at the plate.
Pitching highlight: Jackson was not sharp early on, putting seven men on base (five hits, two walks) in the first three innings alone. But credit to the veteran right-hander for battling back and churning out a quality start in the end. Jackson was much more efficient over his final three innings, and in the process managed to make it through the seventh on only 79 pitches. Had the Nationals not been trailing at the time, Davey Johnson might have even left his starter in.
Key stat: It took until the ninth inning of the Phillies' sixth game against the Nationals this season before Papelbon made his first appearance.
Up next: After a day of rest Thursday, the Nationals' nine-game tour of the NL East continues in Atlanta for a showdown with a Braves team that has been battling them for the top spot in the division for several weeks. Ross Detwiler meets Tim Hudson in Friday's 7:35 p.m. series opener at Turner Field.