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Washington Nationals lose 5-4 to Philadelphia Phillies in rain-shortened opener in Citizens Bank Park...

Rain started falling in the fifth, and they never came out of the delay...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Espino in CBP:

Paolo Espino held the St. Louis Cardinals to a run on three hits in his first four innings on the mound in Nationals Park last time out, but gave up four hits, and three more runs, in the top of the fifth, recording two outs but failing to make it out of the inning.

“I don’t know if they’re just making adjustments,” Espino told reporters of his issues later in his outings, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman. “I can also say I’m making a few mistakes. But every now and then, you make some mistakes, you get away with it. I mean, lately it seems like every time I make that one mistake, I’m not getting away with it. I need to figure out what’s going on late in the game. Because I feel like early in the game, I’m going through everything pretty good.”

In five outings in July, the 35-year-old right-hander was (0-2) with a 5.82 ERA, a 6.39 FIP, and .322/.340/.622 line against over 21 23 IP on the month.

Espino took the mound tonight in Citizens Bank Park with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of an RBI hit by the Nationals’ new first baseman, Luke Voit, in the opening frame, but it was a tie game one out into the bottom of the inning, when Rhys Hoskins hit a hanging 0-1 slider to left to get the Phillies on the board, 1-1. Hoskins’ 21st.

Brandon Marsh, Kyle Schwarber, and Rhys Hoskins hit back-to-back-to-back singles off of Espino to start the home-half of the third, with Hoskins’ hit driving Marsh in to tie it at 2-2 after the Nationals went up by a run, and Alec Bohm followed with a three-run shot to left field on a 1-1 curve from the Nats’ starter, 5-2.

Espino was up to 71 pitches after four when a rain delay ended his outing ...

Paolo Espino’s Line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 71 P, 48 S, 4/4 GO/FO.

Espino: 19-32-62-71

Syndergaard: 19-36-55-64-79

Syndergaard in Philly:

Acquired from the LA Angels in a trade deadline deal which sent 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick Mickey Moniak out to Los Angeles this week, 29-year-old, seven-year veteran Noah Syndergaard made his way to Philadelphia quickly, and got the nod for tonight’s series opener with the Washington Nationals.

In 15 starts and 80 IP for the Angels, with whom he signed a 1-year/$21M free agent deal this season, Syndergaard had a 3.83 ERA, a 3.95 FIP and a .244/.300/.383 line against.

His first start for the Phillies began with a double to right-center by Victor Robles, who was 4 for 12 with three homers off Syndergaard before tonight, and a one-out single to left field by the newest National, Luke Voit, put the Nats up 1-0 early in the series opener in Citizens Bank Park.

Maikel Franco reached on an infield single with two out in the Nats’ second, stole his first bag since 2020 (and the 5th of his nine-year career), and scored on an RBI single by César Hernández to make it a 2-1 game a half-inning after the Phillies tied things up in the home-half of the second.

Luis García, Luke Voit, and Yadiel Hernández hit back-to-back-to-back singles off the Philly starter in the fifth, with the score 5-2 in the Phillies’ favor to start the inning, and 5-3 when Hernández drove García in with his second hit of the game. Lane Thomas connected on a one-out single for the fourth hit of the inning for the Nationals, loading them up, and a wild pitch with Josh Palacios at the plate allowed Voit to score, 5-4. Hernández challenged Nick Castellanos’s arm on a fly to right in the next at-bat, but was out by a mile for the third out of the inning.

Noah Syndergaard’s Line: 5.0 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 79 P, 56 S, 7/4 GO/FO.

Yadi = 10:

Yadiel Hernández, the DH again tonight, with Nelson Cruz out, started the game on a nine-game hit streak over which he was 11 for 32 (.344 AVG) with a double, two home runs, and four RBIs over that stretch, and he extended it to a career-high 10-straight with a single in his second trip to the plate against Philly starter Noah Syndergaard, hitting a line drive out to left field for his 12th hit in his last 34 at-bats after he grounded out the first time up.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports


They finished the top of the fifth before the skies opened up above Citizens Bank Park and they never came out of the rain delay which followed...

Final Score: 5-4 Phillies

Nationals now 36-71