The shaving cream was still visible in Domonic Brown's hair when he arrived at his locker in a T-shirt and shorts.

The single he knocked through the middle of the Nationals infield was not the most impressive hit of the night, but it was the last one, and that meant a heck of a lot for a Phillies team coming off a brutal road trip where they lost seven of 10 games.

Not only did it give them a 5-4 win over a key National League East rival last night, but it erased the possibility of a season spinning even further out of control, which easily could have been the result after Jonathan Papelbon allowed a game-tying home run to Chad Tracy with two strikes and two outs in the ninth inning for his first blown save.

"We're trying to get some games on the Nats," said Brown, whose game-winning single off of Fernando Abad with two outs in the ninth improved the Phillies to 34-37 and pulled them to within in a game of Washington for second place in the East. "It feels good to come in and get a win, especially after a long road trip."