Sluggers Bryce Harper (groin), Ryan Zimmerman (rest) and Matt Wieters (rest) weren’t in the starting lineup for the Washington Nationals in their series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, but the bullpen lost the Nats’ this one by allowing three runs to hand the Phils a 6-5 victory.
Jayson Werth got things started for the Nationals in the top of the first, smacking an opposite-field solo homer to give the away team an early lead.
After a pair of unearned runs crossed the plate for Philadelphia in the fourth, the former Phillie smoked a two-run shot in the fifth for his second homer of the day to put the Nats back in front.
With the starting rotation on fire as of late, Tanner Roark kept the trend going with six innings of two-run ball.
He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and went relatively deep considering he threw 125 pitches in his previous start.
Anthony Rendon continued his torrid stretch, knocking in two runs in the seventh with an RBI single, and Adam Lind hit a sacrifice fly to give the Nats’ three runs of insurance before the bullpen took over.
Matt Grace got five outs without allowing a run, but left the game with two runners on in the top of the eighth.
Matt Albers, who had yet to allow a run entering the game, gave up a three-run homer to Aaron Altherr to tie the game.
Albers put two runners on with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Enny Romero got the Nationals out of the jam and sent the game into extras.
With the Nats’ lineup unable to get anything going against the Phillies’ bullpen, Blake Treinen took the mound in the bottom of the tenth looking to preserve the tie game. He would be unable to do so...
Nationals now 21-10
Here’s how it happened:
• Jayson Werth entered the game 4 for 9 in the series against his former team. He continued to swing a hot bat, hitting the 2-2 pitch of his first at-bat against Phillies’ starter Jeremy Hellickson over the right-center field wall for a solo home run.
The blast put Washington ahead 1-0 before starter Tanner Roark even took the mound.
• Roark’s has had an up-and-down season thus far, but he had everything working early. The Nats’ right-hander needed just 14 pitches for a 1-2-3 bottom of the first.
• Maikel Franco saw a lot of action at the hot corner in the top of the second.
Hellickson gave up a leadoff walk to first baseman Adam Lind to start the second, but Chris Heisey hit a grounder to Franco that he was able to turn into a force out at second.
Michael Taylor then followed with a hard grounder at the third baseman, but Franco was unable to glove it and Taylor beat the throw to put runners on first and second with one out. However, Jose Lobaton would then pop out to Freddy Galvis at short and Roark grounded out to Cesar Hernandez to end the threat.
• Michael Saunders was able to work a one-out walk in the bottom half of the frame, but that was all the Phillies would manage off Roark in the second.
• Werth came up once again in the third and managed to hit a grounder hard enough down the left field line to get past Franco and earn himself a one-out double. Daniel Murphy followed with a five-pitch walk, but Werth left the bag too early on a stolen base attempt and Hellickson got an easy out by throwing the ball to third. Anthony Rendon then hit a deep fly ball to left but it landed in the glove of Daniel Nava for the third out.
• Once again, the Phillies drew a one-out walk — this time courtesy of Hellickson. Once again, Roark would keep them from doing much else, ending the third inning with 53 pitches and only the two baserunners allowed.
• Hellickson picked up his first 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth. He set down Lind, Heisey and Taylor in order with a groundout and a pair of swinging strikeouts.
• Odubel Herrera knocked a single up the middle to lead off the bottom half of the inning and give Philadelphia its first hit of the afternoon. Franco followed with a groundball that ate up Trea Turner at short for his first error of the year.
With runners on first and second and nobody out, Roark found himself in his first jam of the afternoon. He struck out Saunders and Taylor made a diving catch in center field to rob Tommy Joseph of a hit for the first two outs. Galvis then got the Phillies on the board with a double down the right field line, bringing both runners around to score.
Heisey got the ball in quickly and the Nats caught Galvis in a rundown between second and third, but the game went into the fifth with Philadelphia up 2-1.
• Lobaton hit a single on the first pitch of the fifth, then moved to second on the next one when Roark laid down a sacrifice bunt. Turner worked a full count, then broke his bat on a sharp line drive right at Galvis for the second out. After Lobaton moved to third on a wild pitch, Werth put the Nats back on top with a no-doubt home run into the left field seats.
Murphy then followed with a single into left field and Rendon drew a walk to force Hellickson out of the game. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin called on Jake Thompson with a double switch to face Lind, who he was able to strike out in three pitches.
• Jeremy Hellickson’s Final Line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 98 P, 59 S, 5/4 GO/FO
• Roark allowed a leadoff walk to Andrew Knapp in the bottom of the fifth. He was quickly erased, however, when Roark gloved a liner off the bat new first baseman Brock Stassi and doubled Knapp off at first. Hernandez then grounded out three pitches later to end the inning.
• Thompson came back out for the top of the sixth. He forced Heisey and Taylor into quick pop outs, then walked Lobaton to bring up Roark. The Nats’ pitcher wasn’t able to keep the inning going, however, and swapped his helmet and gloves for his hat and mitt then walked out to the mound.
• After throwing a career-high 125 pitches in his last start, it was unclear how deep manager Dusty Baker would allow Roark to go. He entered the sixth with 86 pitches, but needed just 14 for a 1-2-3 frame — his final of the afternoon.
• Tanner Roark’s Final Line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 100 P, 56 S, 5/6 GO/FO
• Werth hit a single up the middle to get things started in the seventh, putting him just a triple shy of the cycle. Murphy walked to put two runners on for Rendon, who snuck a groundball up the middle to bring Werth around and give Washington a 4-2 lead.
Murphy got to third on the hit, then scored when Lind hit a deep sacrifice fly to center. Heisey extended the inning with a walk on a full count, knocking Thompson out and bringing in Pat Neshek on another double switch. Taylor would then strike out for the second time in the game — his eighth of the series.
• Matt Grace came in for the bottom of the seventh looking to preserve the Nats’ three-run cushion. Philadelphia would make things interesting, as Saunders and substitute third baseman Andres Blanco hit back-to-back singles to put two runners on with no outs.
Galvis then roped a line drive that looked like a surefire double off the bat, but Rendon snagged it to keep the runners where they were. The play proved to be huge, as Knapp would hit a grounder to Murphy three pitches later that he converted into a 4-3 inning-ending double play.
• Neshek trotted back out for the top of the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the struggling Turner looking to end the frame.
• Baker opted to keep Grace in the game for the eighth amid the bullpen’s struggles. The lefty struck out Stassi for the first out, but Hernandez reached on a Murphy throwing error and Nava singled to put two runners on. Grace then forced Herrera to fly out to center and Baker called on Matt Albers for the final out of the inning. Aaron Altherr stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter and hit a game-tying home run to center for Albers’ first run allowed of the season.
• With Hector Neris on the mound for Philadelphia, Werth struck out for his first out of the game, Murphy grounded out and Rendon flew out to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
• Albers was given the chance to redeem himself by starting the ninth, but he walked Blanco then picked up an error when he failed to field a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Galvis. Baker pulled flamethrower Enny Romero from the bullpen on a double switch that sat Murphy down in favor of more steady infielder Wilmer Difo.
With runners on first and second with no outs, Romero struck out Knapp looking to put one man down. Stassi hit a grounder to Difo that he was able to knock down but couldn’t convert it into an out. The play brought Hernandez up with the bases loaded. He hit a chopper in the middle of the infield that Lind fielded and threw home in time for the second out. Nava then flew out to Taylor in center and the Nats, by the skin of their teeth, made it to extra innings.
• Neris remained in the game for the top of the tenth and took care of business with another 1-2-3 frame. Taylor flew out to end the inning, the tenth straight National to be retired by the Phillies’ pitching staff.
• Former closer Blake Treinen gave up a leadoff double to Herrera to start the 10th. He would then intentionally walk Altherr to bring up starting pitcher Vince Velasquez as the pinch hitter. Velasquez would then lay down a perfect bunt to load the bases for the second straight inning.
Treinen struck out Blanco for one out, but Galvis hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to center to give the Phillies a 6-5 win.
Nationals now 21-10