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Washington Nationals walk off on Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4, on a Wilmer Difo bases-loaded single in the ninth...

Wilmer Difo hit a bases-loaded single to center in the ninth to complete a comeback with a walk-off winner.

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer (15 Ks in 6 13) and Jake Arrieta (1 ER in 6 IP) had themselves an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel in the series finale in Washington, D.C., but this one was decided by the bullpens with the Phillies scoring three after Scherzer left the game in the seventh, and adding one in the eighth before the Nationals rallied against Philly closer Hector Neris, loading the bases with no one out and tying it on a walk by Pedro Severino before winning it on a walk-off single to center by Wilmer Difo, 5-4.

Scherzer vs the Phillies: Max Scherzer took the mound in the finale with the Phillies with a five-start win-streak going, over which the 33-year-old right-hander had a 1.83 ERA, eight walks (2.10 BB/9), 48 Ks (12.58 K/9), and a .129/.198/.259 line against in 34 13 innings.

Scherzer started the series finale with the Phillies leading the NL in Ks (65), K/9 (12.90), and wins (6), and ranked second in WHIP (2nd, 0.82), and opponents’ AVG (.161), and OBP (.224), and he added seven Ks from the first 11 batters he faced as he tossed three scoreless on 49 pitches as the Nationals jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

Scherzer was up to seven straight Ks when Carlos Santana doubled with two down in the fourth, and the Nationals’ ace put Maikel Franco on after falling behind 3-0, but another K from Pedro Florimon ended the threat. 10 Ks from 16 batters. And 13 from 20 after striking out the side around a two-out walk in a 19-pitch fifth.

Odubel Herrera doubled to right field for his second two-base hit in three at bats to lead off the sixth, connecting on an 0-1 cutter that got too much plate. Scherzer hit Aaron Altherr in the next at bat too, putting two on with no one out, but he threw a 95 mph 0-2 fastball right by Carlos Santana for out No. 1 and K No. 14, and got a 5-4-3 DP out of Maikel Franco to end an 11-pitch sixth at 104 total.

Pedro Florimon singled on Scherzer’s 108th pitch of the game to lead off the seventh, but the Nationals’ ace picked up his 15th K on his 111th pitch before Davey Martinez went for a reliever.

Sammy Solis came on and got up 0-2 on Nick Williams before giving up an RBI single on an 0-1 pitch. The soft liner to center fell in for a hit, and tied it up at 1-1, and Williams scored on an RBI double by Rhys Hoskins off of Brandon Kintzler, 2-1 Phillies and it was 3-1 before the top of the inning came to an end...

Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 15 Ks, 111 P, 71 S, 1/0 GO/FO.

Arrieta vs Scherzer: First-year skipper Gabe Kapler told reporters, as quoted yesterday by NBC Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman, that he and the rest of the Phillies were excited about today’s pitching matchup, which featured Max Scherzer and Jake Arrieta in a battle of Cy Young award winners.

“As a baseball fan I get excited every day to come to the ballpark,” Kapler said, “... but no doubt, Scherzer vs. Arrieta, day game, last game of the series to settle it ... huge moment, and we’re all pretty stoked for it.”

Arrieta was coming off a rough outing that snapped a three-start winning streak. He gave up eight hits, two walks, and six earned runs in 3 23 IP in an 8-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Matt Adams took Arrieta deep on a 3-1 sinker in the second, bouncing his eighth home run of the season off the facade of the second deck in right field. It was Adams’ sixth in the last 10 games, over which he was 13 for 31 after the blast, and his eighth hit and first homer off Arrieta in 28 plate appearances in their respective careers.

Adams’ home run accounted for the only run Arrieta allowed through five innings, and he was up to just 75 pitches after he retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the sixth.

Jake Arrieta’s Line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 75 P, 48 S, 8/4 GO/FO.

Big City, Big Homer: As noted above, Matt Adams, who homered in the second, has been on a tear in the last few weeks. Adams was 12 for 30 (.400 AVG) in his last nine games, in which he’d hit a double and five home runs with 13 RBIs, five walks, and 10 runs scored.

In games he started this season, the veteran, who was signed to come off the bench in the nation’s capital, was 18 for 59 before today (.305/.414/.712), with three doubles and seven of his eight home runs in those starts.

He added his 8th HR of the season and six in the last 10 off Arrieta in the second, and went 2 for 4 overall on the day with the home run and a one-out single in the Nats’ seventh and a big K with two on and out in the eighth.

Harper, Harper, Harper: Bryce Harper started the day leading the NL with 12 home runs, a 1.038 OPS, and 39 walks, which were the most in the majors, and ranked first in RBIs (28), and runs scored (29), and third in OBP (438). He was 8 for 33 (.242/.375/.636) with a double, four home runs, seven walks, and eight Ks in 40 PAs.

Harper went hitless in three at bats against Jake Arrieta, and K’d swinging at a low 1-2 heater from Tommy Hunter with two on and one out in the eighth.

#DIFOBP: Wilmer Difo started the series finale with the Phillies this afternoon with an eight-game hitting streak going, over which he was 12 for 22 (.545 AVG) with two doubles, two home runs, four RBI, six walks and eight runs scored.

Difo had also reached base in 13 of 19 plate appearances over his last five games, posting a .684 OBP over that stretch.

Difo walked to get on in the eighth, but was stranded, and stepped in with the bases loaded and no one out in the ninth, with the score tied at 4-4, and singled to center to win it with a walk-off hit.

BULLPEN ACTION: Sammy Solis took over for Max Scherzer with a runner on second base and one out in the top of the seventh, after Pedro Florimon singled and stole second, and an RBI single on a soft liner to center by pinch hitter Nick Williams tied things up at 1-1.

Brandon Kintzler came on for Solis, and got out No. 2, but Rhys Hoskins lined a 1-2 sinker into the left-center gap for an RBI double that put the Phillies ahead, 2-1. Hoskins scored when Odubel Herrera singled to center to bring him around, 3-1.

Edubray Ramos, Adam Morgan, and Luis Garcia combined for a scoreless seventh, and Maikel Franco put the Phillies up 4-1 with a one-out solo shot to left off Carlos Torres in Philadelphia’s half of the eighth.

Luis Garcia walked Moises Sierra and Tommy Hunter walked Wilmer Difo to bring Bryce Harper up as the potential tying run in the Nationals’ half of the eighth, but Harper K’d swinging at a low fastball outside for the second out of the inning.

Trea Turner reached on an infield single to load them up for Anthony Rendon, however, and Rendon drove two in with a single to left, 4-3. A wild pitch with Matt Adams up moved both runners into scoring position, but a filthy 2-2 curve got Adams swinging for out No. 3.

Sean Doolittle made quick work of the Phillies in the top of the ninth, stranding a runner after a two-out throwing error by Trea Turner.

Hector Neris came on for the save opportunity and gave up a leadoff single by Matt Wieters, who was replaced by pinch runner Rafael Bautista at first. Howie Kendrick stepped in with a runner on, and an errant pick attempt allowed Bautista to take third. Kendrick took a fastball to the side, and took his base to put two on. Michael A. Taylor walked to load’em up with no one out.

Pedro Severino came on to pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot, worked the count full, and walked to tie it up at 4-4, and Wilmer Difo singled to center to win it with a walk-off hit. Ballgame.

Final Score: 5-4 Nationals

Nationals now 18-17