Series: Game 1 of 3

Washington leads 1-0 (as of 8/18)

Game 1: Friday, August 18
Game 2: Saturday, August 19
Game 3: Sunday, August 20

Nationals 6

(54-68, 24-38 away)

Phillies 4

(59-62, 31-35 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 18, 2006

    Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    WAS 320100000 6 14 0
    PHI 000003010 4 7 0

    W: T. Armas (8-8)

    L: B. Myers (8-6)

    S: C. Cordero (23)

    30-30 vision: Soriano does it again as Nats beat Phils

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Alfonso Soriano's combination of power and speed has put him in elite company.

    Elias Says

    Alfonso Soriano stole his 30th base of the season and hit his 39th home run in the Nationals' victory at Philadelphia. Soriano is now the first player in major-league history with four 30-30 (HR-SB) seasons in a five-year span. (Bobby Bonds and Barry Bonds each did it three times in four years.)

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    Soriano hit a leadoff homer, Ryan Zimmerman went deep and drove in a career-best five runs, and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 Friday night.

    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 better."

    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 said.

    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.

    Lieberthal's solo homer to left off Jon Rauch cut the deficit to 6-4 in the eighth. Chad Cordero pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 26 chances.

    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 month.

    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 ace.

    "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 2002.

    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.

    In his last outing, Myers gave up three straight homers to Cincinnati's Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Dunn and Rich Aurilia. He exited that game two batters later.

    "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 foul pole.

    Game notes

    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 homers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press