Phillies

Nationals 10, Phillies 6 (10 innings): Bryce Harper, bats give Aaron Nola 4-run lead but things fall apart late

Nationals 10, Phillies 6 (10 innings): Bryce Harper, bats give Aaron Nola 4-run lead but things fall apart late

BOX SCORE

Bryce Harper homered for the second time in a week against his former team and the Phillies spotted Aaron Nola a four-run lead, but things fell apart late in a 10-6 loss Tuesday night. Juan Soto delivered the game-winning blow for the Nationals, a towering three-run home run over the foul pole in right field in the 10th inning off left-hander Jose Alvarez.

Earlier in the night, the Phillies built a 6-2 lead on a three-run homer from Harper, a solo shot from Maikel Franco and a two-run triple by Jean Segura, all off Stephen Strasburg.

The Harper home run, his second against his former team in the last seven days, capped off a high-stress third inning for Strasburg, who had cruised through the first two. He lasted just four innings.

With Pat Neshek and David Robertson unavailable after appearing three times each in the last four days, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler turned to Edubray Ramos in the ninth inning to preserve a one-run lead. Ramos came within one strike of recording his second career save when Victor Robles tied the game with a solo shot.

The loss makes the Phillies 7-3 as they go for the series win Wednesday night.

Early offense, another early send-off

Strasburg threw just 20 pitches through two innings but needed 63 to complete the third and fourth and that was his night. 

In the third, Franco hit his fourth home run of the season and Harper matched him four batters later. 

An inning later, Segura hit a two-run triple to put the Phillies up four runs.

Strasburg had allowed multiple home runs to the Phillies just once in his last 21 starts before Tuesday night. This is, of course, a much different team capable of frustrating young pitchers and established All-Stars alike.

Nola strong until the seventh

There were some questions about Nola coming into this start after a five-walk season debut and a three-homer follow-up. 

Early on, he was sharp, allowing a first-inning run but maxing out at 95.7 mph after registering a top speed of 94.0 mph in his most recent start, his lowest max speed in 34 starts.

Nola allowed single runs in the first and sixth innings before a rocky seventh. A Franco throwing error began the inning, Yan Gomes followed with a two-run homer and pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick went deep two batters later.

Through three starts, Nola is 1-0 with a 6.46 ERA.

The schedule always seems to align for Nola to face the Nationals. This was his 17th career start against them compared to 10 vs. the Marlins and nine vs. the Mets.

Mostly solid infield defense

Prior to Franco's costly seventh-inning error, the Phillies' infield did serious work behind Nola. Rhys Hoskins had a diving catch at first base, Franco made a diving stop at third, Segura charged and barehanded a dribbler to nab a baserunner and later ranged up the middle and fired a strike to get the speedy Adam Eaton.

Beyond that, the Phillies turned two double plays, including one that Nola started on a sharp comebacker.

Up next

The Phillies finish up the three-game series against the Nationals Wednesday night at 7:05.

It's Nick Pivetta (1-0, 6.52) against former Phillie Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 9.00).

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Dodgers 7, Phillies 2: Phillies wait out 3 hours of rain only to finish with 2 hits in lifeless loss to Dodgers

Dodgers 7, Phillies 2: Phillies wait out 3 hours of rain only to finish with 2 hits in lifeless loss to Dodgers

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The Phillies and Dodgers waited out a rain delay of 2 hours and 37 minutes before finally resuming the top of the third inning Wednesday night.

And after the long, long, long wait ... the Phillies lost 7-2.

There wasn't much Phillies offense to speak of. They had two hits, one in the ninth inning. It probably should not have been a surprise that they couldn't muster more offense given their lineup. It was their least impressive batting order of the season, with Brad Miller, Adam Haseley, Nick Williams and Andrew Knapp occupying spots 5 through 8. Still ... two hits.

"Rain delays are always tough," said Scott Kingery, who had the Phillies' lone hit until the ninth. "Once you start the game, adrenaline's going and then you come back in here and sit around for a few hours. You've got to do the best you can to get it going again, get your body moving. ... Just a tough night."

David Freese had the key blow for the Dodgers, a two-run, opposite-field homer off Juan Nicasio in the seventh. It came two innings after a fan yelled "Freese, you look like my Uber driver," which was kind of funny. 

The Phillies had just tied the game the previous half-inning on a bases-loaded walk by Miller and an RBI groundout from Haseley. Both runs were unearned as the Phillies benefitted from Max Muncy's shaky defense at third base.

Justin Turner doubled the Dodgers' lead with a pinch-hit two-run home run off Austin Davis in the eighth.

Nick Pivetta started the game and allowed a first-inning run after walking the bases loaded. Control issues for Phillies pitchers didn't end there — they walked 10 Dodgers and hit two more on the night.

The Phillies (49-47) don't have much time to rest. Thursday's series finale — on YouTube only — begins at 12:35 p.m.

"I don't even think we have time to be disappointed," manager Gabe Kapler said. "We have to be back here pretty early in the morning with (Aaron) Nola on the mound and a rested bullpen in terms of our guys that we're leaning on in leverage innings.

"We feel good about tomorrow. Anxious to get back to the ballpark and wipe off tonight."

Can't find the zone

Reliever Edgar Garcia, who continues to struggle, has thrown a frustratingly low number of strikes lately. On Monday, he entered the game with the Phillies down by 11 runs and walked three batters. If ever there is a time to go right at hitters, it is then. 

On Wednesday, 15 of his 29 pitches were balls and he fell behind reliever Julio Urias before allowing an RBI single up the middle to him in the sixth inning.

Garcia is one of three Phillies relievers who probably shouldn't be in the major leagues right now but is here out of necessity. Outings like this do not inspire confidence. It wouldn't be surprising if the Phillies sent him down Thursday or Friday to bring up a fresh arm.

Garcia has a 6.15 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in 27 appearances.

Segura returns

Jean Segura popped out as a pinch-hitter Wednesday night. He will be in Thursday's lineup after missing much of the last two games with a bruised heel.

Not a strong showing from Williams

In his first game back with the Phillies, Williams looked out of sorts at the plate, grounding out softly twice and expanding the zone multiple times in a strikeout against right-handed reliever Pedro Baez.

Williams had hit .345 at Triple A but just has not gotten going at the big-league level this season. He'll have an opportunity to play over the next few weeks with Jay Bruce on the injured list with a strained oblique.

Williams is behind Haseley on the outfield depth chart, though.

Up next

The four-game series concludes Thursday afternoon at 12:35, and then the Phillies hit the road for three games this weekend in Pittsburgh. They're off Monday, then play in two in Detroit before coming back to Philly for an eight-game homestand against the Braves, Giants and White Sox. 

Aaron Nola (8-2, 3.63) opposes Ross Stripling (4-3, 3.65) on Thursday.

Two young Phillies fans show their brotherly love at Citizens Bank Park

Two young Phillies fans show their brotherly love at Citizens Bank Park

A surprisingly large number of Phillies fans stuck around Wednesday night after a rain delay of 2 hours, 37 minutes.

The top of the fifth provided a nice moment in the stands, as one fan gave a foul ball to another and they hugged.

Chivalry isn't dead, even after a few frustrating nights against the Dodgers, oppressively hot conditions and hours of waiting around for the game to resume.

Be sure to watch the video above for a heartwarming moment.

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