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Washington Nationals move closer to NL Wild Card game with 7-2 win over Philadelphia Phillies

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Washington’s Nationals hit home runs in each of the first three innings tonight, and cruised to a 7-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

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

Washington’s Nationals started the final homestand of the regular season with home runs in each of the first three innings, with Adam Eaton, Yan Gomes, and Trea Turner each hitting a solo shot off of Philadelphia Phillies’ right-hander Zach Eflin to make it 3-0 after three in D.C.

The home team added two more in the fifth before the visitors got on the board with one run off Patrick Corbin in the starter’s sixth and final inning of work in what ended up a 7-2 win.

Corbin vs the Phillies: Coming into tonight’s start, Nationals’ lefty Patrick Corbin was going strong, with a (3-1) record in four September outings, over which he’d put up a 2.74 ERA, 13 walks, 31 Ks, and a .233/.327/.407 line against in 23 IP.

Last time out before tonight, Corbin went six innings against the Cardinals on the road in St. Louis, giving up five hits and four walks, but just two runs, both unearned, while striking out 11 of the 28 batters he faced in a 110-pitch effort in what ended up a 6-2 win.

Going up against the Phillies tonight, for the fourth time this season, Corbin tossed three scoreless on 40 pitches to start, as the Nats homered in each of the first three innings to give him a 3-0 lead.

Corbin needed 27 pitches in the fourth, as he worked around two walks, and an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left him at 78 total.

He came out for the sixth with a 5-0 lead and gave up a walk to Bryce Harper, and a double by third off Scott Kingery’s bat that put runners on second and third with no one out.

One out later, a walk to Jose Pirela loaded the bases, on Corbin’s 99th pitch, and he got a grounder to third that almost ended the inning, but Anthony Rendon got the out at third, only to throw wide of first base, E:5. One run scored on the play, 5-1.

Corbin limited the damage to one run in the sixth, but the 30-pitch frame left him at 108 total and ended his outing.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 108 P, 64 S, 10/1 GO/FO.

Eflin vs the Nationals: Phillies’ right-hander Zach Eflin took the mound tonight in the midst of a strong month of September, with a 1.19 ERA, six walks, 18 Ks, and a .205/.258/.325 line against in 22 23 IP.

Eflin was taking on the Nationals for the fourth time after putting up a 1.50 ERA, six walks, 21 Ks, and a .182/.250/.288 line against in 18 IP in those outings, but he fell behind early when a 3-2 fastball to Adam Eaton went out to right for a one-out solo homer that made it a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. No. 15 for Eaton, a new career high. Juan Soto walked with two out then tried to score from first on a Howie Kendrick single to right-center, only to get nailed at the plate by Bryce Harper for the third out of a 25-pitch frame for Eflin.

Yan Gomes got hold of a 1-1 fastball with two down in the second, and hit his 11th home run of the 2019 campaign out to straight-center in Nationals Park. 2-0 Nats.

Trea Turner hit the third home run in three innings off Eflin on an 0-1 fastball that went out to left field to make it 3-0 in the bottom of the third, and the Nats loaded the bases with Adam Eaton singling in the next at bat before Anthony Rendon (who walked more than he K’d in college) and Juan Soto took back-to-back walks from the Philly starter, but Kendrick sent a grounder back to the mound for a 1-2-3 DP, and Asdrúbal Cabrera grounded to second to end the threat, 3-0.

Eflin kept the ball in the park in a scoreless fourth, but the first three batters reached base in the fifth with Trea Turner singling, and Adam Eaton bunting his way on (on an 0-2 pitch), before the Nationals’ fourth run of the game scored on an RBI single by Anthony Rendon, who sent an 0-2 fastball out to right to make it a 4-0 lead.

Juan Soto walked to load’em up with no one out, and Eaton scored the fifth fun of the game with one down when he beat the throw home after Asdrubal Cabrera grounded into an out at first base, 5-0.

Zach Eflin’s Line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 Ks, 3 HRs, 86 P, 54 S, 7/2 GO/FO.

Adam Eaton Career-High: Adam Eaton hit 14 home runs with the Chicago White Sox in both the 2015 and ‘16 campaigns, but hit seven total in his first two seasons in D.C., while dealing with injuries.

This season the Nationals’ No. 2 hitter was back up where he’d been before all the injury issues, with 14 total going into tonight’s game, and he hit No. 15 in the bottom of the first, taking Philly righty Zach Eflin deep to reach a new career high.

Eaton ended the night 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored.

BULLPEN ACTION: Phillies’ righty Edgar Garcia stranded a runner in a scoreless sixth, after giving up a leadoff double by Yan Gomes (2 for 3, HR, 2B).

Fernando Rodney retired the Phillies in order in a 16-pitch seventh.

Lefty Austin Davis worked around a two-out walk to Howie Kendrick for a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

Daniel Hudson retired the side in order in a nine-pitch inning to keep it a four-run lead.

Davis came back out for the Phillies in the bottom of the eighth and gave up a two-out single and back-to-back walks to load’em up in front of Anthony Rendon.

Edubray Ramos came on to face Rendon, who took his second walk of the night to force in the Nationals’ sixth run of the game, 6-1, and Juan Soto took the fourth consecutive walk to force in No. 7, 7-1.

Javy Guerra got the ninth for the Nationals and gave up a back-to-back, two-out hits, a single by Adam Haseley and an RBI double by Andrew Knapp, 7-2. That’s how it ended.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 7-2 Nationals

Nationals now 86-69