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De Fratus upbeat about Phils despite 'tough' end to loss

PHILADELPHIA -- Justin De Fratus left the mound discouraged Sunday afternoon, but he left the Phillies clubhouse encouraged by the way his team played the first week of the season at Citizens Bank Park.

De Fratus uncorked a wild pitch in the 10th inning Sunday in a 4-3 loss to the Nationals. It was the first pitch he threw in the inning after replacing Jake Diekman with a runner on third and one out. The wild pitch scored a run to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead. De Fratus allowed another run to score, which proved costly as the Phillies could muster only one run in the bottom of the 10th.

"The tough part about a situation like that, you don't want to give him anything elevated and give him an opportunity to hit a sacrifice fly," De Fratus said about the wild pitch. "You have the infield in for a reason. You're trying to get the ball on the ground, and I just yanked it a little bit.

"That game falls on me. I 100 percent take the blame. It just didn't work out. That's a tough one."

The Phillies hit the road for a seven-game road trip through New York and Washington, beginning Monday afternoon against the Mets at Citi Field.

The Phillies went 3-3 this week.

"I think we have a lot of grinders in here and a lot of people who have the belief that it doesn't take the biggest payroll in the world to win," De Fratus said. "That last at-bat [in the 10th] we could have easily laid down and we didn't. That was a positive sign. If you're going to take something positive out of that game, it's the way we grinded and battled."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter.
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