The Washington Nationals are a miserable baseball team playing miserable baseball. But that’s not the Phillies’ fault. All you can ask the Phillies to do is beat the team in front of them and the Phillies did again last night to earn a sweep in the three-game set as the Nats lost their ninth in a row.

The Phils pounded Nationals’ started John Lannan for eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. Washington made three errors behind him.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 8-4 to improve to 59-49 on the season. The Phils have won five in a row and are in first place in the NL East. The Mets trail them by one game.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four.

Ryan Zimmerman singled with two outs in the second, but Kendrick struck out Austin Kearns behind him.

He started the second up 3-0. Kory Casto doubled with one out. Ronnie Belliard was next and he hit a ground ball to short. Casto went to third and Rollins looked there but took the out at first. With Pete Orr at the plate, Kendrick delivered a ball in the dirt that went through Ruiz’s legs for a passed ball. Casto scored and it was 3-1. Pitcher John Lannan grounded to second for the third out.

With two outs in the third, Zimmerman started to swing at a 2-2 pitch that was up and in and was hit on the hand. He would leave the game in the top of the fourth. Kearns moved Zimmerman to second with a single before Jesus Flores singled to left. Zimmerman scored to make it 3-2. Kearns went to second on the single, but Casto grounded to short for the third out.

Kendrick started the fourth up 5-2. With one out Orr lined a ball off the glove of Rollins and into left for a single. Lannan bunted Orr to second, but Harris flew to center for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He hit Belliard with two outs in the sixth. Orr flew to center for the third out.

He came back for the seventh and got the first two before Milledge singled and Ryan Langerhans followed with a walk. Condrey came into the game and struck out Kearns to end the inning.

Condrey got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 eighth. His ERA on the year is down to 3.61.

Seanez started the ninth. Orr led off with a single and Felipe Lopez hit for pitcher Colome and doubled. With men on second and third, Harris grounded to first and Orr scored to cut the Phils’ lead to 8-3. Lopez moved to third on the play. Milledge was next and he swung and dribbled a ball down the first base line for the second out, but Lopez scored to make it 8-4. Seanez walked the lefty Langerhans. Durbin came in to pitch and got Kearns to fly to left to end the game.

The pen goes 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. Condrey pitched well and Durbin got the only man he faced. Seanez wasn’t good. In his last two appearances he’s gotten three outs and been charged with six runs on four hits and two walks. Would have been nice to not have to use Durbin, who only threw five pitches but was pitching for the third straight day.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Bruntlett (8) Ruiz. Werth in right against the lefty and Bruntlett at third. Ruiz catches.

Victorino was hit by a pitch with one out in the first. Utley flew to right before Howard moved Victorino to third with a single. Burrell fouled out to third to leave both runners stranded.

Werth led off the second and hit a 2-1 pitch out to left for his fifteenth home run of the year. Bruntlett singled and went to second on a wild pitch before Ruiz singled, moving Bruntlett to third. Kendrick bunted Ruiz to second before Rollins hit a ground ball to third. Zimmerman took the out at first and Bruntlett scored to make it 2-0 with Ruiz holding second. Victorino hit a ball to third and Zimmerman’s throw to first and Victorino arrived at about the same time. The ball went in Casto’s glove and off of Victorino for an error that allowed Ruiz to score and Victorino to move to second with the Phils up 3-0. Utley walked before Howard struck out to end the frame.

Burrell led off the third with a walk but the Phils went in order behind him.

Still up 3-2, Kendrick led off the fourth and struck out on a pitch not handled by Flores. Kendrick turned towards the dugout and then ran to first. Flores lobbed a ball to first but offline and Kendrick was safe on the throwing error. Rollins got ahead 2-0 and hit one out to left to extend the lead to 5-2. Victorino was next and bunted for a single. He stole second before Utley and Howard struck out to leave him stranded.

Burrell led off the fifth with a walk. Werth struck out before Bruntlett grounded to short, with Burrell forced at second and Bruntlett safe at first. Bruntlett was picked off and thrown out at second base to set the Phillies down.

Rollins doubled to left with two outs in the sixth. Victorino followed with a ball slowly hit to third where Belliard barehanded the ball and then threw wildly to first. Victorino had a single and Rollins scored to put the Phillies up 6-2. Belliard was charged with the Nats’ third error of the game. Utley moved Victorino to second with a single before Howard singled to right. Victorino scored to make it 7-2 and Utley went to third. Burrell singled to left and Utley scored. 8-2. Werth popped up to the pitcher to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. Kendrick hit for himself with two outs and the Phils up 8-2. He had thrown 97 pitches.

With two outs and nobody on in the eighth, Jesus Colome drilled Utley with a 1-0 pitch after Kendrick had hit Zimmerman and Belliard earlier in the game. Howard grounded to second baseman Willie Harris playing in right field for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the ninth.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He was 4-for-13 in the series with two doubles and a home run. He’s hitting 272/334/444 for the season.

Victorino was 2-for-4 in the game. 6-for-13 with a home run in the series. 289/355/441 for the year, all of which be career highs for him at the end of any season in which he’s had more than 20 at-bats.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a walk. He was 5-for-11 with two home runs in the series and is hitting 293/373/571 for the year.

Howard 2-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-13 with four singles in the series. 239/323/498, all of which would be career lows for him.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with two walks. 4-for-11 in the series. 279/402/578 for the year.

Werth was 1-for-5 with his fifteenth home run. 1-for-5 in the series. 271/358/492 for the year. Jenkins was 2-for-7 with a walk in the series and is hitting 242/297/397 for the year.

Bruntlett 1-for-5 with a strikeout. 2-for-10 in the series. Dobbs was 0-for-3 in the series but needs to play more given the injury to Feliz and the struggles of Jenkins. Dobbs is hitting 306/343/433 for the year.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 in the game and 3-for-8 in the series. 217/311/281 for the year. Coste was 0-for-4 in the series and is hitting 285/333/489 for the year. Phillies’ catchers have hit to a .696 OPS for the season, which is tenth best in the NL (.725 (5th) in 2007 and .793 (5th) in 2006).

Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.27) faces righty Kyle Lohse (12-3, 3.68) tonight in St Louis. Lohse got hammered his last time out, allowing seven runs in five innings against the Mets on Sunday. Wright, Tatis and Castro all homered against him in that game. Before that start he had allowed seven earned runs in 36 innings (1.75 ERA) over his last five appearances. In 13 starts in St Louis this season he’s 6-1 with a 2.79 ERA. In ten starts away he’s 6-2 with a 5.16 ERA. Speaking of getting hammered in your last start, Hamels allowed nine runs in the fourth inning on Saturday against the Braves. Before that he had allowed two runs or fewer in four straight starts.