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Moyer's savvy kept game within reach

Moyer's savvy kept game within reach

PHILADELPHIA -- In discussing the team's refusal to accept a sweep on Thursday, players applauded the tenacious approach of the hitters during a six-run sixth inning, and the aggression of Jimmy Rollins.

But don't forget about Jamie Moyer.

Yes, the veteran had a poor start to his 22nd big league season, spotting Washington five first-inning runs and leaving to boos after surrendering nine hits and six runs -- three earned -- in 3 2/3 innings.

It could've been worse, especially after a double, single and error by Moyer himself loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning, too.

But Moyer leapt to snag an Austin Kearns chopper that headed for center field and turned it into a 1-2-3 double play. He then struck out Aaron Boone to keep the deficit at five and the game within reach.

"That was huge," Chris Coste said. "A base hit there could've really put the game away. He pitched a lot better than his line. Our defense let him down. When he pitches, our defense needs to be there."

"We got two quick outs," Moyer said. "That's what you need. A double play is a huge rally killer whether or not there's one out or two outs. Five runs is nothing to overcome in this park. You have to find an out somewhere, because every run you give up, it makes it that much more difficult."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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