Michael A. Taylor did all he could to get the Washington Nationals back in this one, but the early deficit the NL East’s first place team found themselves in after Edwin Jackson struggled with his command and gave up five runs in just 3 1⁄3 innings on the mound in the nation’s capital, proved too much to overcome in what ended up a 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Jackson was up in the zone, and he struggled with his command overall, allowing three walks and surrendering two home runs in his brief outing, but Michael A. Taylor sent a two-run home run out to left in the fourth, and added an RBI single in the sixth to get the Nationals within one, down 5-4, but that’s all they would score as Philly righty Mark Leiter, and relievers Edubray Ramos, Luis Garcia (in a dominant eighth), and Hector Neris preserved the lead.
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Howie Kendrick got his former team early in tonight’s matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies, taking a 2-2 cutter from Mark Leiter, Jr. to left for a one-out solo home run that put the Nationals up 1-0 in the first. It was Kendrick’s 8th of 2017, and his sixth since he was acquired by Washington in a pre-deadline deal.
• Unstoppable Philly rookie Rhys Hoskins hit his second home run of the series and his 14th in 30 games since being called up out to left on a 2-2 slider Edwin Jackson left up and out over, and one out later Maikel Franco got a fastball up in the zone from E-Jax and sent it soaring into the left field seats for the second home run of the inning and a 2-1 lead. Franco’s 20th.
• One and two-out singles, and a two-out walk to Hoskins loaded the bases in the Philly third, and Jackson went to a full count with Odubel Herrera before getting him with a slider that dove out of the zone.
• The first three batters of the Phillies fourth reached base as well with Maikel Franco singling, moving up on a Hyun Soo Kim walk, and scoring on a blooper to right by the Phillies’ catcher, Cameron Rupp, 3-1. One out later, Ryan Zimmerman booted a dribbler toward first off Cesar Hernandez’s bat, allowing another run to score, 4-1, and Jackson walked Galvis to load the bases again on his 72nd and final pitch of the night.
Sammy Solis took over with the bases loaded and got an out at home on a grounder to first, but a walk to Rhys Hoskins forced in the Phillies’ fifth run, 5-1.
• Edwin Jackson’s Line: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 72 P, 42 S, 3/1 GO/FO.
• Philly righty Mark Leiter was rolling in the fourth, but Anthony Rendon slowed him down with a two-out walk, and Michael A. Taylor followed with a two-run homer to left field that got the Nationals within two, 5-3 Phillies. Taylor’s 16th.
• A.J. Cole took over for the Nationals in the sixth and tossed a scoreless 18-pitch frame, and Howie Kendrick and Daniel Murphy hit back-to-back singles to start a potential rally in the bottom of the inning.
Two outs later, however, they were still on the basepaths, but Michael A. Taylor stepped in and lined a first-pitch fastball to center to bring Kendrick in, 5-4 Phillies.
Michael A. Taylor RBI single!— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 10, 2017
We've got a one-run game. pic.twitter.com/YCdsqiOePg
• Cole tossed another scoreless inning in the seventh, keeping it close.
• Mark Leiter’s Line: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 2 HRs, 95 P, 67 S, 5/4 GO/FO.
• Edubray Ramos threw a scoreless seventh to keep the Phillies up by a run.
• Joe Blanton needed just 16 pitches in a scoreless top of the eighth, but Philly righty Luis Garcia blew the Nationals away in a 12-pitch, three-strikeout bottom of inning.
• Oliver Perez gave up a one-out single in the Phillies’ ninth, but Matt Albers took over and got an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP out of Rhys Hoskins.
• Hector Neris walked Michael A. Taylor to start the ninth. Taylor moved up on a Wilmer Difo groundout (after not looking too happy that Difo fouled off a pitch when he had a stolen base on the first pitch). Raudy Read stepped in with one down, and K’d looking for out No. 2, and Victor Robles started up 3-0 (and should have walked) but grounded out to short to end it. Final Score: 5-4 Phillies.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington’s wins in the first two games of this weekend’s series have them within 10 games of .500 at 113-123 in the all-time series with Philadelphia, though the Nationals are 78-52 against the Phillies since 2011.
- Washington’s won 18 of their last 26 games heading into tonight’s matchup in the nation’s capital, increasing their lead in the NL East from 14.0 to 19.0 games over that stretch.
- Washington’s 87-54 record after last night’s win is the second-best record in the majors, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (92-49).
- The Nationals scored 10+ runs for the 21st time last night, and they’ve reached double digits in runs in more games than any other team in the majors in 2017.
- Phillies’ rookie Rhys Hoskins failed to reach base in last night’s game, snapping a 19-game on-base streak that stretched from August 17th to September 5th, and he put up a .494 OBP over that stretch.
- The Phillies currently have seven players with 10 or more home runs this season: Tommy Joseph (20), Maikel Franco (18), Aaron Altherr (16), Cameron Rupp (14), Odubel Herrera (12), Rhys Hoskins (12), and Galvis (11)
- Nationals’ starters have posted a 2.52 ERA in their last 30 starts and 185 2⁄3 IP, the lowest ERA in the majors over that stretch.
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in SLG (.457), runs scored (741), and OPS (.792), and they’re second in the National League in AVG (.270), and extra-base hits (495), and third in OBP (.336).
Nationals now 87-55