WASHINGTON — Kyle Kendrick’s winless streak continued just like it started, with a short outing and a loss in Washington.
Kendrick dropped his fifth straight decision and allowed all of the Nationals’ runs as the Philadelphia Phillies lost 6-1 Friday night in the opener of a three-game set.
“I just didn’t do my job tonight,” Kendrick said. “I didn’t give us a chance to win, I didn’t pitch deep into the game.”
Washington has won seven straight as it tries to chase down the final NL wild card, while the Phillies were denied a third straight victory.
Carlos Ruiz singled twice and drove in Philadelphia’s only run against starter Ross Ohlendorf, a late replacement for Stephen Strasburg, who was scratched with tightness in his right forearm.
Cody Asche also had two hits.
Both Ruiz and Freddy Galvis ran into outs at second base while testing the arm of Bryce Harper, and the Phillies failed to score in the fourth or fifth inning despite advancing runners to third with less than two outs.
Meanwhile, the Nationals scored three times in the fifth on two infield singles, chasing Kendrick after 4 1-3 innings.
“Infield hits and balls not even getting out of the infield were getting runs in,” said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg “It’s a big difference and it’s added up.”
Kendrick hasn’t won in seven starts and his ERA since the All-Star break climbed to 6.91. And at Nationals Park, he’s lost all three of his starts while allowing 15 runs in 13 2-3 innings. He yielded six runs here — four earned — while again failing to pitch through the fifth during the start that began his winless streak on Aug. 11.
“It’s been a rough second half,” Kendrick said.
Wilson Ramos homered and drove in three runs for Washington, which moved within 4 ½ games of Cincinnati for the final NL wild card.
Strasburg was scratched after experiencing forearm tightness during a throwing session Thursday in New York. Ohlendorf (4-0), who recently moved to the bullpen, stepped in and survived a shaky first inning to allow a run on five hits over five innings.
“He made the pitches. Great effort,” Washington manager Davey Johnson said.
Ian Desmond had two hits and two RBIs, and Ryan Zimmerman (3 for 4) hit a solo homer and scored three runs for Washington. Denard Span singled, extending his hitting streak to 24 games.
Cesar Hernandez led off the game with a walk. With one out, Chase Utley singled him to third. Ruiz followed with an RBI single, but Ohlendorf struck out Darin Ruf and Asche to end the inning.
Zimmerman singled in the bottom of the first. After Jayson Werth walked, Zimmerman took third on Bryce Harper’s fly to right and scored on Desmond’s infield single.
Ramos led off the second with his 14th home run on a line drive into the visitor’s bullpen.
Zimmerman made it 3-1 when he sent Kendrick’s 0-2 sinker into the same bullpen to start the third.
“It was low, but it was just over the plate,” Kendrick said. “You want it in more. Just not a good 0-2 pitch.”
Galvis led off the Phillies’ fourth with a hit to left. He tried for a double and barely beat Harper’s throw, but Steve Lombardozzi’s tag pushed his hand off the bag and he was called out.
“He’s one of the better ones for sure,” Sandberg said. “His speed getting to balls, whether they’re in the gap or down the line. And then his arm strength and his accuracy is some of the best you’ll see.”
Then in the sixth, Harper picked up his second assist and 12th of the season when he threw out Ruiz trying for a double.
The Nationals chased Kendrick in the fifth. Desmond picked up his second infield single, this time with the bases loaded, to make it 4-1. With two outs and a 3-2 count, Ramos hit a hard grounder off the foot of reliever Luis Garcia. The ball deflected up into the air for an infield single as two runs scored.
NOTES: Domonic Brown (heel) pinch hit for Philadelphia in the ninth, his first appearance since Sept. 1st. Asche snapped an 0-for-10 skid with his single in the sixth. . Before the game, the Nationals held a ceremony to honor the victims and first responders of Sept. 11, 2001.