PHILADELPHIA -- It sure seemed like everybody hit in the first inning Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies scored a franchise-record 12 runs in the first in a 17-3 victory over the Nationals, the most runs they have scored in a game since they posted 22 on the Reds on July 6, 2009. The Phillies began the inning having scored just 14 runs in four games, but a combination of nine hits (including three doubles and one triple), four walks and two sacrifice flies put them within a run of the franchise record for most runs in an inning overall.
"You never know when these innings are going to happen again," Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph said. "As they keep piling you try to get as many as you can."
The Phillies sent 16 batters to the plate in the bottom half of the first, which lasted just under 37 minutes. Howie Kendrick, Michael Saunders and Joseph each picked up two hits.
"I think I take responsibility for what happened today," Saunders joked, referring to the fact he shaved his beard before the game.
The Phillies scored a record 13 runs in the fourth inning on April 13, 2003, in Cincinnati. While they fell a run short of tying that mark, they crushed their first-inning scoring record, which had been 10 and accomplished four times (most recently July 6, 2009).
The inning started when Cesar Hernandez doubled, Kendrick singled and Odubel Herrera walked to load the bases with no outs.
Maikel Franco's sacrifice fly made it 1-0.
Saunders and Joseph each singled to score two more runs. Joseph's single snapped a 0-for-13 start to his season. Teammate Andres Blanco commemorated Joseph's two hits by placing a couple balls in his locker.
"I'll take it. I don't care," Joseph said. "Apparently, they were as aware of [the slump] as I was, too. That's just kind of how we are as a group. People were giving me hugs and stuff like that [in the dugout]."
Nationals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie then walked Cameron Rupp to load the bases. Freddy Galvis' sacrifice fly scored Saunders to make it 4-0.
But the dam really broke when Guthrie walked Aaron Nola to load the bases and Hernandez to force in the inning's fifth run. Kendrick followed with a triple to right-center field, clearing the bases to make it 8-0.
Kendrick cruised into third, but wiped out as he slid and stumbled over the bag.
He survived and broke out laughing.
"We might get him in kangaroo court or something like that," Joseph said. "It was good once we found out he was OK."
Guthrie got the hook after Herrera singled. Guthrie is one of 11 starters in baseball history to allow 10 or more runs in one inning or less. He has done it twice. It also happened against the Yankees in May 2015, when he pitched with the Royals.
Enny Romero took Guthrie's place, but Franco doubled, Saunders doubled and Joseph singled to put up 12. Rupp struck out to end the inning.
The 12 runs were the most the Nationals have given up in any inning in franchise history (Nationals/Expos).
No team had scored 12 runs in the first inning since the Yankees scored 12 against the Orioles on July 30, 2011.
Maybe the Phillies should have saved a few for Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg on Sunday?
"No, never content," Saunders said. "You can't be content because you can't get those AB's back."