PHILADELPHIA — Jonathan Papelbon blew another save, and then his fuse.
Ian Desmond hit a grand slam in the 11th inning and the Washington Nationals beat the Phillies 6-2 Wednesday night, avoiding a three-game sweep.
Jayson Werth’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth tied it off Papelbon, who blew a save for the second time in three nights after starting the season 13 for 13.
Papelbon wasn’t pleased with his team’s defense, questioning why first baseman Ryan Howard played back on a 3-1 pitch to Denard Span leading off the ninth. Span hit a bouncer that got past Howard and went to second baseman Freddy Galvis. His thrown to Papelbon was low and Span reached safely with an infield single.
“I was expecting an underhand toss from first,” Papelbon said. “This is a game of fundamentals. We got to do fundamentals right. It’s a simple game. Every little thing that goes into every pre-pitch, we got to do better.”
Papelbon talked about defensive positioning, anticipating plays and knowing situations.
“I’m not pointing the finger at anybody,” he said. “It’s a team game. I’m seeing some of the same things. We got to make the fundamental plays.”
Starters Kyle Kendrick and Gio Gonzalez both were outstanding, but wound up with no-decisions.
Kendrick allowed one run and two hits, striking out six in 72/3 innings. Gonzalez gave up two runs and two hits, tying a career high with 11 strikeouts in seven innings. He didn’t allow a hit after the second batter.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a one-out double off Mike Stutes (2-1) in the 11th. After Adam LaRoche was intentionally walked, Werth walked to load the bases. Desmond took a close 1-2 pitch that had manager Charlie Manuel screaming at plate umpire Alfonso Marquez from the dugout.
“It looked like it could’ve been a strike,” Manuel said.
Desmond drove the next pitch out to left-center field.
“I was adjusting all night,” Desmond said. “I had too many long swings. I just wanted to see the white ball and put the barrel on it.”
Drew Storen (2-1) tossed a scoreless 10th to earn the win.
Papelbon was a strike away from securing a save Monday night before allowing a tying homer to Chad Tracy. The Phillies won it in the bottom half on Domonic Brown’s RBI single with two outs.
After Span’s hit to start the Washington ninth, LaRoche walked with two outs. Werth followed with a single to left to score Span.
“As a closer, it’s important for me to finish it off for the starters,” Papelbon said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow. I still got to make the pitch to Werth.”
Michael Young hit a two-run homer to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the first. He surpassed 1,000 career RBIs on the homer, becoming the 242nd player in major league history to reach that total. RBIs became an official stat in 1920.
The Phillies didn’t get another hit until Carlos Ruiz singled with two outs in the 10th.
Kendrick retired 16 straight before walking Zimmerman with one out in the seventh. Zimmerman went to second on a groundout and scored on Werth’s line-drive single.
Ben Revere hit a single to lead off Philadelphia’s first, extending his hitting streak to 10. Young then connected for just the third time this season.
Gonzalez got six of his strikeouts on Ryan Howard and Brown, who is second in the NL with 19 homers.
Coming off his worst outing of the season — seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings at Colorado — Kendrick controlled the Nationals with a sharp sinker. He got 13 outs on grounders.
NOTES: Chase Utley began a rehab assignment going 0-for-4 at Double-A Reading. The Phillies’ five-time All-Star 2B has been sidelined by an oblique injury. ... Phillies first-round pick J.P. Crawford met players and spent an hour chatting with Manuel behind the batting cage. Crawford, a shortstop chosen with the 16th overall pick, is signed and heading to Clearwater, Fla. to begin his career with Philadelphia’s Gulf Coast League team. ... The Phillies are off Thursday before starting a three-game series against the New York Mets.