The Phillies did not tear the cover off the ball Friday night, but they got a pair of long balls, including a big one from Rhys Hoskins, in rallying for a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.
Hoskins’ second homer in as many games was a three-run shot in the bottom of the sixth. It put the Phils up by two runs.
Hoskins leads the Phillies with 10 homers. He has 62 homers since his big-league debut on Aug. 10, 2017. That is the most in the National League over that span and third-most in the majors behind Oakland’s Khris Davis and Boston’s J.D. Martinez, both of whom entered Friday with 70.
Thirty-four of Hoskins' 62 career homers have either tied the game or given the Phils a lead.
The Phillies are in the midst of putting together a nice homestand. They are 5-2 with two games to play. They are 13-6 at home and lead the NL East at 18-13.
• With his team up, 2-1, in the bottom of the sixth, Washington manager Dave Martinez brought in lefty Dan Jennings to face Bryce Harper with a man on first base. Jennings walked Harper on five pitches. Jennings then had to face the right-handed hitting Hoskins with two men on base. Hoskins unloaded a 1-1 pitch, a sweeping breaking ball, and sent it into the left-field seats to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead.
The Phillies were happy to see starter Jeremy Hellickson leave the game. He allowed just four hits and struck out nine over 5⅓ walk-free innings. The soft-serving Hellickson has 15 strikeouts in 13⅓ innings against the Phillies this season.
• Jean Segura hit an opposite-field homer in the first inning, his second of the season. He added an infield hit to start the sixth-inning rally in front of Bryce Harper and Hoskins. Segura is hitting .345 with a .931 OPS.
• Phillies manager Gabe Kapler lifted starter Jerad Eickhoff after just five innings and 87 pitches. The score was 1-1 at the time. It did not stay that way long as Seranthony Dominguez gave up a one-out homer to Kurt Suzuki in the sixth. Dominguez had Suzuki, 0-2, but could not put him away. Dominguez threw Suzuki all fastballs and the Washington catcher hit the fourth one in the seats to break the tie.
• Good job by Phillies relievers Adam Morgan, Pat Neshek and Hector Neris. They combined for three scoreless innings to protect a two-run lead.
Morgan has 16 straight scoreless appearances, a team record to open a season.
The right-hander pitched well again. He went five innings and allowed just one run. He walked three and struck out five. Eickhoff appeared to have another inning in him, but Kapler went to the bullpen in the sixth. Dominguez gave up a tie-breaking homer in that frame, but the Phils’ bats got the lead back in the bottom of the inning and Dominguez vultured the win. Eickhoff once again featured a pair of good breaking balls, curveball and slider, to complement a fastball that topped at about 91 mph.
He snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth. He died on third. His walk before Hoskins’ homer in the sixth was his 24th, tops in the NL.
The Nationals have three key players — Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon — on the injured list and Juan Soto did not play because of back spasms. The Phillies are 3-3 against the Nats this season. Washington is 13-18, five games behind the first-place Phils.
Pretty good pitching matchup at the yard Saturday night as Jake Arrieta (4-2, 3.46) faces Washington lefty Patrick Corbin (2-1, 3.58). The Phillies tried to sign Corbin in the offseason.
The Phillies will honor Jimmy Rollins with a retirement ceremony before the game.
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