The sizzling Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the Washington Nationals on Thursday when they rallied for a run in the eighth and another in the 10th to pull off a 6-5 win in the rain at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies tied the game on a groundout by Andrew McCutchen in the eighth and won it on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by rookie Alec Bohm in the bottom of the 10th.
Bohm drove home J.T. Realmuto, who started the frame on second base as part of baseball's 2020 extra-innings protocol. Didi Gregorius opened the 10th with a sacrifice bunt, then left-hander Sean Doolittle intentionally walked Jean Segura and Phil Gosselin to load the bases before Bohm ended the game.
Bohm had a big day with three hits prior to pushing home the game-winning run.
The win was the Phillies' ninth in the last 10 games and it made a prophet out of Bryce Harper, who had said that the team needed to win nine of 10 to turn its season around after it had lost a fifth straight game on August 22 to fall to 9-14.
The Phillies are now 18-15. They are 2½ games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East with 27 games remaining.
The Phillies went 6-1 on this homestand.
Phillies starter Zach Eflin did not pitch particularly well. He went six innings and gave up seven hits and four runs. He walked none and struck out five. But in the all-important area of protecting leads, Eflin lost two of them. He gave up a 2-0 lead in the third and a 4-2 lead in the fifth.
Eflin gave up a two-run, inside-the-park homer to Trea Turner in the third inning. He lost the lead in the fifth on three singles, a sacrifice bunt and a groundout.
Bullpen shines again
OK, so newcomer David Phelps gave up a homer as the Nats broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh. Other than that, the improving bullpen did excellent work with Tommy Hunter, JoJo Romero, Hector Neris and Blake Parker all getting important outs in a close game. Parker got three outs in the 10th, all with at least one runner in scoring position.
Hoskins stays hot
Rhys Hoskins got the day off Wednesday because he was 0 for 17 with 10 strikeouts in his career against Washington starter Max Scherzer.
Hoskins was back in the two-hole in the batting order in this one. He clubbed a solo homer in the third inning.
He has six home runs in the last nine games.
Tough times for Harper
While the Phillies have gotten hot, Harper has cooled off. He went 1 for 5 with a bloop hit and three strikeouts. He is 7 for 45 (.155) with 16 strikeouts in his last 14 games. His batting average has plunged from .367 to .276 over that span.
He's a streaky hitter. He'll be back. What's good is the Phillies are more than holding their own while he regroups.
The Phillies play 11 of their next 13 games on the road. They are off to New York for a four-game series against the Mets on Friday night. That series runs through Monday. Then it's home for a doubleheader against Boston on Tuesday before heading to Miami for what will be a pivotal seven-game series against the Marlins. That series will include two doubleheaders.
Jake Arrieta (2-3, 6.49) will pitch for the Phillies on Friday night against Mets right-hander Rick Porcello (1-4, 6.00).
The Phillies will also send Spencer Howard, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler to the mound in the series.