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Nationals’ six-game win streak snapped in 3-1 loss to Phillies; rubber match Sunday in D.C.

Tanner Roark put together a solid start, but an early home run and late triple hurt the right-hander in the Nationals’ 3-1 loss to the Phillies.

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark gave up a two-run home run by Rhys Hoskins in the first and a triple and RBI single in the sixth that cost him in the Washington Nationals’ 3-1 loss to Philadelphia today in D.C.

Wilmer Difo connected for the only hit off Phillies’ righty Vince Velasquez in five innings of work for the visiting starter, hitting a solo home run in the home-half of the fifth, and their only run of the game.

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Nationals, who dropped back to .500 with the loss.

Roark vs Phillies: Tanner Roark snapped a four-start winless streak last time out in an outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This afternoon the 31-year-old righty was taking on the Phillies, against whom he’d put up a 2.56 ERA in eight career starts and 45 23 innings pitched at home in Nationals Park.

Roark started the second of three with the Phillies with a 4.00 ERA in 18 innings at home in the nation’s capital this season (vs a 3.15 ERA in 20 IP on the road), a 5.45 FIP (vs a 4.07 FIP away from D.C.), and a .215/.292/.453 line against (vs .171/.256/.271).

Rhys Hoskins got the Phillies on the board early with a two-run blast on a 3-2 fastball he hit over the fence in left-center for a 2-0 lead two batters into the game.

Roark held it there through five as Philly righty Vince Velasquez held the Nationals hitless through 4 13 innings before giving up a solo home run by Wilmer Difo that cut the Phillies’ lead in half, 2-1, but he gave a run back in the top of the sixth with Carlos Santana tripling and scoring on an RBI single to center by Maikel Franco, 3-1.

Davey Martinez sent Roark back out for the seventh at 104 pitches, but went to the bullpen after the righty issued a one-out walk.

Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 115 P, 70 S, 8/0 GO/FO.

Velasquez vs the Nationals: Phillies’ righty Vince Velasquez took the mound in Nats Park winless in his last four starts with a 5.91 ERA, six walks, 24 Ks and a .262/.311/.500 in 21 13 innings pitched over that stretch.

Velasquez tossed 4 13 hitless to start, walking four and hitting a batter, but Wilmer Difo broke up his nascent no-hit bid with a solo shot to right on a 95 mph 1-2 fastball sending one into the right field bullpen. Difo’s 2nd of 2018. 2-1 Phillies over the Nationals at that point.

Velasquez’s 26-pitch pushed him up to 92 pitches, and ended his outing.

Vince Velasquez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 92 P, 59 S, 5/1 GO/FO.

Welcome Back: In 14 games before he suffered what was eventually acknowledged to be a hairline fracture in the big toe on his left foot on April 13th, Nats’ third baseman Anthony Rendon had a .286/.355/.411 line in 62 plate appearances, over which he’d hit four doubles and one home run.

Rendon K’d swinging his first time up in his return to the lineup today, then drew a two-out walk in his second plate appearance in the third (which is kind of his thing), and took a free pass again in the fifth, leaving him with eight walks and nine Ks through 65 PAs in 2018.

A groundout in his final plate appearance left him 0 for 2 with two walks in his return to the lineup.

DIFOBP: Heading into today’s game, Wilmer Difo had reached base safely in 12 of his last 15 plate appearances, for an .800 OBP over his last four games, and over his last seven games, the Nationals’ infielder was 11-for-18 (.600 AVG) with two doubles, one homer, three RBIs, six walks, and seven runs scored.

Difo has been hitting ninth in the lineup for the last four games, and he started the second of three with the Phillies with a seven game hitting streak going, in which he was 11 for 18 (.611/.708/.889) with two doubles, a home run, six walks, and two Ks in 24 PAs.

Difo popped out in his first trip to the plate this afternoon, but battled with the Phillies’ right hander Vince Velasquez the second time up in the fifth, fouling off two 1-2 pitches before yanking a fastball to right field for a one-out solo shot that broke up the starter’s no-hit bid. 2-1 Phillies. Difo’s 2nd of 2018. #Distroyed

BULLPEN ACTION: Edubray Ramos took over on the mound for the Phillies in the sixth, and gave up a one-out single and walk to Andrew Stevenson and Pedro Severino, respectively.

Rafael Bautista stepped in with two on and one out, and sent a chopper to third to start an inning-ending 5-3 DP. 15-pitch frame for Ramos.

Sammy Solis took over for Tanner Roark after the starter issued a one-out walk in the Philly seventh, and got an inning-ending 6-3 DP out of Cesar Hernandez.

Tommy Hunter got the bottom of the seventh for the Phillies, and retired the side in order.

Solis worked around a leadoff walk for a scoreless, 15-pitch eighth, but the Nationals left a one-out walk on the basepaths as they came up empty against Hunter and Luis Garcia in the bottom of the inning.

Wander Suero walked the first two batters he faced in the top of the ninth, and gave up a base-loading, one-out single by Andrew Knapp, before getting a force at home on a weak grounder to short, and a long fly to center to escape the jam.

Hector Neris got the ninth looking for the save and issued a four-pitch walk to leadoff man Trea Turner, who was doubled up when he stole second with Matt Wieters at the plate and didn’t realize Wieters popped the pitch up to second. 4-3 DP.

Michael A. Taylor took a two-out walk to give Wilmer Difo a shot. Taylor took second base on defensive indifference and third on a wild pitch, but Difo K’d swinging to end it. Ballgame.

Final Score: 3-1 Phillies

Nationals now 17-17