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Philadelphia Phillies avoid sweep with 8-6 win over Washington Nationals in CBP...

Gio Gonzalez struggled again and the Washington Nationals had to settle for 2 of 3 as the Philadelphia Phillies took the finale of the three-game set in Citizens Bank Park.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Gio Gonzalez took the mound in the fifth with a 5-2 lead, and proceeded to load the bases in front of Philadelphia Phillies’ first baseman Carlos Santana, who hit a grand slam off the Washington Nationals’ lefty to make it a 6-5 game, and after the Nats rallied to tie it up, an RBI single by Jose Bautista in the seventh put the home team ahead in what ended up an 8-6, sweep-avoiding win in Citizens Bank Park.

GIO vs PHI: Gio Gonzalez took a loss last time out in spite of the fact that he gave up seven hits and one earned run in seven innings in what ended up a 3-0 loss to the New York Mets.

Gonzalez’s solid outing left him with a 6.00 ERA, 19 walks, 26 Ks, and a .307/.379/.464 line against in seven starts and 39 IP in the second-half.

Tonight’s start was Gonzalez’s third against the Philadelphia Phillies this season, after he tossed five scoreless at home in Nationals Park on May 4th, then gave up three hits, four walks, and three earned runs in five innings in Citizens Bank Park on July 1st.

After tossing a scoreless frame in the first, Gonzalez gave up a single by Carlos Santana and hit Jose Bautista in the first two at bats in the second, then threw a wild pitch, moving both runners into scoring position, and gave up a two-out, two-run single to left by the opposing pitcher, Jake Arrieta, who hit a 2-2 fastball through the infield to put the Phillies up early, 2-0.

Given a 4-2 lead to work with after three and a half, Gonzalez worked around a walk in a 17-pitch fourth, but after an Anthony Rendon home run in the top of the fifth made it 5-2, the left-hander gave up back-to-back singles in the first two at bats of the Philly fifth. Gonzalez struck the next two batters out, then issued a base-loading walk to Wilson Ramos, and gave up a base-clearing grand slam by Carlos Santana, who crushed an 0-1 changeup, 6-5 Phils.

Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 98 P, 56 S, 5/2 GO/FO.

Arrieta vs the Nationals: Jake Arrieta was unbeaten in six starts in July, (4-0), with a 2.80 ERA and a .238/.300/.341 line against in 35 13 IP, but going into tonight’s outing against Washington’s Nationals, the Philllies’ 32-year-old right-hander was winless in four August starts (0-3) with a 3.60 ERA and a .226/.294/.366 line against in 25 innings.

Arrieta was coming off three consecutive losses and facing the Nats for the third time in 2018, after putting up a 2.45 ERA (3 ER in 11 IP) and a .171/.250/.257 line against in his two starts against the Phillies’ NL East rivals before tonight.

Given a 2-0 lead to work with in the bottom of the second, Arrieta gave up a one-out triple by Adam Eaton and a two-run home run to left by Trea Turner in the next at bat as the Nats tied things right up, 2-2. Turner’s 16th.

Anthony Rendon walked in that at bat that followed, and scored when Juan Soto (who almost hit out to left the first time up) got one to stay fair this time around, hitting the second two-run shot of the inning out to left field to make it a 4-2 game.

Soto’s 16th as well, on a 3-0 pitch... and all the way the other way. That’s a fun, Juan:

Arrieta got out of the inning, a 36-pitch frame, but he didn’t come back out for the fourth.

Jake Arrieta’s Line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 75 P, 44 S, 3/1 GO/FO.

Turn(ing) it on: Though he was just 1 for 9 in the first two games in Citizens Bank Park, Trea Turner was on a solid run over the last month-plus heading into tonight’s game, going 39 for 137 over that stretch (.285/.333/.423) with four doubles, three triples, three home runs, nine walks, 11 stolen bases, and 24 runs scored over his last 32 games, going back to July 26th. Turner also started the night at 3.4 fWAR, ranked third among all NL shortstops so far in 2018.

He added his fourth home run in the last month-plus and 16th of the season in the top of the third inning, lining a 1-2 changeup from Jake Arrieta out to left for a two-run blast that tied things up before Juan Soto hit his own 16th home run, a second two-run blast to put the Nationals up by two, 4-2.

BULLPEN ACTION: Luis Garcia worked around a two-out double in the top of the fourth to keep it a two-run game, but gave up a leadoff blast to left by Anthony Rendon in the first at bat of the fifth. Rendon’s second home run in two days bounced off the facade of the upper deck in left field. 5-2 Nationals. Rendon’s 18th.

Victor Arano came on for the Phillies after they took a 6-5 lead on a Carlos Santana grand slam in the home half of the fifth, and he gave up a leadoff single by Wilmer Difo, who took second on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI single to right field by Nationals’ pinch hitter Andrew Stevenson, who tied it up at 6-6.

Hector Neris came on to keep it tied, finishing the inning off the Nats in the top of the sixth.

Jimmy Cordero retired the Phillies in order in a 16-pitch bottom of the sixth.

Juan Soto doubled to center off Seranthony Dominguez with one down in the seventh, but was stranded at third two outs later.

Cordero came back out for the bottom of the seventh inning, with the score still 6-6, and got a force at second after a hit-by-pitch, then, with Cesar Hernandez at first, he issued a walk to Wilson Ramos and gave up a two-out, go-ahead single by Jose Bautista, who drove Hernandez in from second with a line drive to center, 7-6 Phillies.

Pat Neshek gave up a leadoff single by Difo in the top of the eighth, so Philly skipper Gabe Kapler went to the pen again for Luis Avilan and a lefty vs lefty matchup with pinch hitter Bryce Harper.

Harper, who’s sick, and was out of the starting lineup, took a walk to put two on with no one out. Mark Reynolds came on to hit (after getting tossed last night), so Kapler managered his way to a third pitch of the inning, Tommy Hunter, who popped Reynolds up to center for the first out of the frame, and got a grounder to second by Adam Eaton that started an inning-ending, rally-killing, 6-3 DP. Still 7-6 Philly.

Wander Suero gave up an RBI double to right by Rhys Hoskins in the eighth, 8-6.

Tommy Hunter came back out for the save opportunity and retired the Nationals in order.


Final Score: 8-6 Phillies

Nationals now 67-67