WASHINGTON -

Brett Myers

officially made a quality start last night at Nationals Park.

He called it "so-so."

He allowed eight hits, three runs and three walks in six innings in a 4-0 loss to the Washington Nationals. He also struck out two. But he allowed at least one baserunner every inning he pitched; he also had a runner in scoring position with one or no outs in the first four innings he pitched. The Nationals scored a run in the first and two runs in the second.

"I was in a lot of trouble, and I worked out of it," Myers said. "I didn't have my best stuff, but I battled through it. I tried to make quality pitches. I don't like walking anybody, but I put myself in some jams."

The Nationals, who entered the night as the worst-hitting team in the National League, took advantage.

Myers is 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA, but it's the first time he pitched more than five innings since May 3 against San Francisco.

"Hopefully," he said, when asked if he considered this a small step forward after he had a 7.62 ERA in his previous five starts. "I definitely thought that I was concentrating more from pitch to pitch instead of batter to batter. I was thinking about that pitch that I wanted to throw instead of setting up the next pitch. I didn't try to think too far ahead tonight."

"I felt like he was in trouble, but he also made some good pitches," manager Charlie Manuel said. "In a way, he did OK. He pitched a good enough game for us to win. We just didn't score runs."

Myers was limping noticeably afterward. Hit in the calf with a ball in the fifth inning, he said he would be OK.

Could Durbin start?

Righthander

Chad Durbin

allowed two hits and three runs in four innings Sunday, throwing a season-high 66 pitches in a 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays. He is 0-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 19 appearances this season.

Righthander Adam Eaton is 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA in nine starts. Durbin has started 75 games in the big leagues for Kansas City, Cleveland and Detroit.

Could he be an option for the Phillies if Eaton continues to struggle?

"That hasn't been discussed," Manuel said. "There hasn't been anything said about that."

Kendrick bumped up

Righthander

Kyle Kendrick,

who pitched just one inning Sunday because of a rain delay, will pitch Thursday against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. That pushes Eaton back one day, to Friday against the Astros.

Benson takes another step

Righthander

Kris Benson

threw a simulated game Saturday and is scheduled to throw another one tomorrow in Clearwater, Fla. If that goes well, he is scheduled to throw an extended spring training game Monday.

He could be ready to pitch for the Phillies between June 15 and July 15.

"That's reasonable," Amaro said. "That's a pretty big window. He's been sent back twice with the groin [injury] and bicep tendinitis [injury]. We'll have to see how he progresses. He's going to have to show some improvement to pitch in the big leagues. He's going to have to pitch like a big-leaguer to pitch in the big leagues."

First impressions

This is the Phillies' first trip to Nationals Park, which certainly is an upgrade over decrepit RFK Stadium.

Is it a pitcher's park, Charlie?

"It depends on who's hitting, I guess," Manuel said.

Extra bases

Amaro said righthander

Kyle Drabek,

the team's first-round pick in 2006, was recovering nicely from Tommy John surgery and could pitch competitively in August. If he's not ready to pitch at that point, he could pitch in the instructional league. . . . St. Louis Cardinals manager

Tony La Russa

asked Manuel to join his NL All-Star Game coaching staff last year, but Manuel reluctantly declined because of a personal commitment. When Colorado Rockies manager

Clint Hurdle

recently chose his NL coaching staff recently, Manuel wasn't selected. No big deal, Manuel said. "When I go to the World Series, I'll get to pick my own coaches," Manuel said.

- Todd Zolecki