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Washington Nationals drop second straight to Philadelphia Phillies, 5-3 in D.C.

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Erick Fedde put together a solid start, as did Phillies righty Aaron Nola, and the Nationals came up short in their second straight loss to their divisional rivals...

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Erick Fedde held the Philadelphia Phillies to two runs through six innings, but he came back out for the seventh at 97 pitches, and gave up a leadoff double to left field on a 1-0 cutter to Maikel Franco, and the Philly third baseman scored on a close play at home on a sac fly that put the visitors ahead, 3-2. They added a solo home run by Carlos Santana and an RBI single by Franco off Kelvin Herrera in the eighth in what ended up a 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals.

Fedde vs the Phillies: Erick Fedde put up a 5.63 ERA and a .306/.343/.516 line against in 16 innings in his first three outings in the majors this season, going (0-2) against the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees (twice).

This afternoon, the 2014 Nationals’ 1st Round pick was going up against a divisional rival for the first time this season, looking to help the Nats’ bounce back from yesterday’s dispiriting 12-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Given a 2-0 lead to work with after one, Fedde gave it up in the top of the second on four straight two-out singles by the Phillies’ 6-9 hitters, 2-2, but he kept it there through five in which he threw a total of 86 pitches, working around a leadoff walk in the third, a leadoff double in the fourth, and a leadoff single in the fifth.

An 11-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth pushed him up to 97 pitches overall, and he came back out for the top of the seventh and gave up a leadoff double on a 1-0 fastball to Maikel Franco before Davey Martinez went to the pen.

[ed. note - “If you can’t tell by the pitching line below, Franco came around to score, see the ‘BULLPEN ACTION’ section.”]

Erick Fedde’s Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 99 P, 60 S, 8/4 GO/FO.

Nola vs the Nats: Phillies’ ace Aaron Nola took a five-start unbeaten streak into this today’s outing, over which the right-hander was (2-0) with a 2.93 ERA and a stingy .167/.254/.296 line against in 30 23 IP. Nola was coming off his shortest outing of the season, however, a 4 13-inning start against the Milwaukee Brewers in which he gave up seven hits, four walks, and four earned runs in what ended up a 10-9 loss in Miller Park.

Davey Martinez loaded his lineup with left-handers (Adam Eaton, Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Daniel Murphy, and Wilmer Difo).

How were they going to approach the Philly right-hander, who took the mound with a .222 opponents’ batting average against his fastball, a .202 AVG against his curve, .204 AVG on his changeup, and a .196 AVG on his sinker?

“For me, it’s we’ve got to get the ball up and swing at strikes, and possibly even — when I watch him, he does throw his fastball — and try to get a good fastball to hit and get it up,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said.

Juan Soto got to a low first-pitch fastball from Nola in the bottom of the first, lining it to left-center after Anthony Rendon reached on a swinging bunt with two down, and both runners scored to give the Nationals an early lead when Daniel Murphy went down for a 3-2 change, sending it back up the middle for a two-run single and a 2-0 Nats’ lead.

Nola hit the fourth of four straight, two-out singles in the top of the second, however, as the Phillies rallied to tie it up at 2-2.

Nola retired 10-straight Nationals’ hitters between the second and fifth innings before giving up a two-out walk to Bryce Harper, who was caught stealing to end an 18-pitch frame, and a scoreless sixth, in which he worked around a one-out walk, ended his outing.

Aaron Nola’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 83 P, 55 S, 5/3 GO/FO.

SOTO - A Baseball Story: Juan Soto reached base safely in 25 of 29 games before today’s matchup, and he made it 26 of 30 with a two-out double in his first at bat against Phillies’ right-hander Aaron Nola, taking a first-pitch fastball to left-center field and into the visitor’s bullpen on a hop for his 9th double of the season. He scored in the next at bat when Daniel Murphy singled to drive in two runs.

BULLPEN ACTION: Ryan Madson took over for Erick Fedde with a runner on second after a leadoff double in the top of the seventh. Jorge Alfaro grounded out to move Maikel Franco to third (after he hit the double), and pinch hitter Jesmuel Valentin hit a sac fly to right field that brought in the go-ahead run, 3-2, in spite of a strong throw in by Adam Eaton and a tag by Spencer Kieboom that was a second late.

Tommy Hunter worked around single in the bottom of the seventh, and Carlos Santana hit a 1-1 fastball from Kelvin Herrera out to left for a one-out solo shot in the eighth that made it a 4-2 Phillies’ lead. Scott Kingery walked with two down, stole second, and scored on a single up the middle by Franco, 5-2.

Adam Morgan and Anthony Rendon battled for 11 pitches in a one-out at bat in the bottom of the eighth that ended with a solo shot to right-center soaring over the high wall for the 8th home run of the season by the Nationals third baseman, 5-3.

Shawn Kelley tossed a scoreless top of the ninth, but Philly righty Seranthony Dominguez locked down the win in the bottom of the inning.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 5-2 Phillies

Nationals now 40-35