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Washington Nationals rally late, fall short in 2nd-straight loss to Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4 final...

There were a lot of balls flying out of Nationals Park tonight. Unfortunately the game-winner was a Bryce Harper homer.

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin gave up four runs on three home runs in seven innings of work in a solid-ish start that went south in the seventh, but the Washington Nationals battled back in the 2nd of 4 with the Philadelphia Phillies in the nation’s capital, scoring two runs in the bottom of the 7th, on a Tres Barrera groundout and Gerardo Parra single, 4-2, before adding two more on a 442-foot, two-run blast by Josh Bell, (which followed a solo shot by Bryce Harper in the top of the eighth), 5-4 Philly.

That’s as close as the Nationals got though, in their second straight loss to the Phillies...

Corbin vs the Phillies: Going up against the Phillies for the second time this season last week in Citizens Bank Park, Patrick Corbin gave up eight hits, three of them homers, and four earned runs total in 5 IP in an 11-8 loss for the Nats in which he received no decision.

“It was just a strange day, I think from the get,” Corbin said after that outing, which followed a second COVID outbreak for the club this season, and preceded the sell-off that came one day later.

“Just kind of out there battling all day. I don’t think I had my best stuff, I felt a lot better last game, but trying to get through five there, or deeper ... knowing the situation with a couple of our bullpen guys not being able to come today. Today hurts. That’s as tough as a loss can be. Just frustrating.”

In two starts against the Nationals’ NL East rivals this season, Corbin had given up 13 hits, a walk, and five earned runs in 12 IP, over which he struck out 11, with Philly hitters posting a .265/.280/.469 line against him.

Corbin and the Nationals were down 1-0 early tonight, like one pitch in early. Jean Segura ambushed the left-hander on a first-pitch fastball and hit it out to left for his 7th HR of the 2021 campaign.

After giving up the leadoff blast, Corbin retired six in a row over the next two innings, with strikeouts from five, and he came back out with a 1-2-3 third as well, which left him at just 34 total after three, still 1-0 Phillies.

Corbin’s streak of retired batters ended with a two-out infield single by Phillies’ backstop J.T. Realmuto in the top of the fourth, and Alec Bohm followed with a single, on which Realmuto took third base, but both runners were stranded at the end of a 13-pitch frame, and Corbin set the next seven in a row down to finish six on 75 pitches, with the Phillies still up, 1-0.

Realmuto crushed a 63 MPH 0-1 curve in the first at bat of the seventh, and sent the second solo home run of the game out to center field for a 2-0 Phillies’ lead. Realmuto’s 12th of the 2021 campaign. A walk to Alec Bohm followed, and then Ronald Torreyes hit a sinker out to left for the third home run of the game off Corbin, and a 4-0 lead.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 3 HRs, 93 P, 66 S, 6/4 GO/FO.

Wheeler vs the Nationals: In four starts against the Nationals this season, Phillies’ righty Zack Wheeler had gone (0-3) with a 3.86 ERA, six walks, 24 Ks, and a .280/.327/.441 line against in 23 13 IP before tonight.

Last time out against the Nationals, the 31-year-old starter gave up seven hits, two walks, and three earned runs in seven innings, with two of the three runs allowed coming in his final inning of work in a 3-1 loss in the first game of doubleheader in Citizens Bank Park.

Tonight in the nation’s capital, Wheeler held the Nationals hitless through four, before a leadoff single by Yadiel Hernández broke up the nascent no-hit bid, though the next three batters went down in order in a 13-pitch frame that left the Philly starter at 62 total after five scoreless frames.

Adrián Sanchez singled to right with two out in the sixth, connecting for the second hit, then Juan Soto lined a single to right for the third, but Josh Bell sent a fly to right for out number three of a 13-pitch frame that sent this game to the seventh.

Yadiel Hernández and Carter Kieboom hit back-to-back singles off Wheeler to start the home-half of the seventh, and both moved up on a Luis García groundout, and another grounder brought Hernández in from third for the Nationals’ first run, 4-1, and 4-2 on a single to center by Gerardo Parra.

Sanchez singled again to start the eighth, with Wheeler back on the mound at 90+ pitches, and one out later Josh Bell hit a 2-0 slider into the upper deck below the scoreboard out in right field for two-run shot that made it a one-run game, 5-4 Phillies, and ended Wheeler’s night. Bell’s 18th of 2021.

Zack Wheeler’s Line: 7.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 105 P, 72 S, 8/3 GO/FO.

SotOBP: Juan Soto, the Nationals mentioned in their pregame notes, is the only player in the majors this season with more walks than Ks, with 76 walks vs 63 strikeouts to start the night against the Phillies.

And he’d reached base in 18-straight coming into the game in D.C., and in and 43 of his last 45 games, with a .454 OBP over that stretch. Soto didn’t walk or strikeout tonight, but he did extend his on-base streak to 19-straight games with a two-out single in the sixth.

Bullpen Action: Javy Guerra took over for the Nationals in the top of the eighth, and gave up a one-out homer to left field by Bryce Harper, whose 17th of 2021 made it a 5-2 game.

Héctor Neris walked the first batter he faced, Yadiel Hernández, after taking over for Zack Wheeler with one down in a one-run game in the eighth, 5-4 Phillies.

Ryne Harper retired the Phillies in order in the top of the ninth.

José Alvarado came on for the save opportunity, and retired the side in order to end it.

Final Score: 5-4 Phillies

Nationals now 49-58