WASHINGTON — An off day in the schedule didn’t cool off Odubel Herrera’s molten bat.
Or Carlos Santana’s.
Herrera had four hits and scored four runs to help the quietly heating-up Phillies beat up on the Washington Nationals, 12-2, on Friday night.
Santana drove in four runs.
The Phils had 15 hits, including three homers. They struck out 13 times, but walked eight times.
The win inched the Phillies (40-33) a half game ahead of the Nationals (40-34) in the NL East standings. The Atlanta Braves lead the division.
The Phils have won eight of their last 11 games.
Right-hander Zach Eflin (5-2) earned his fourth straight victory with five innings of two-run ball. He was supported by plenty of offense.
Herrera homered for the fifth straight game and sixth in the last seven. He also singled three times as his batting average climbed back over .300.
Over the last eight games, Herrera is 17 for 36 (.472) with six homers and nine RBIs.
Santana drove in two runs with a first-inning single against Washington starter Tanner Roark. He also blasted a two-run homer in the sixth inning. He also walked twice and scored three runs.
Since May 1, Santana has 10 homers and 34 RBIs in 45 games.
Nick Williams also had a pair of hits and three RBIs.
Andrew Knapp hit the Phillies’ third homer of the game in the ninth inning.
Relievers Austin Davis, Yacksel Rios and Zac Curtis combined on four shutout innings of relief.
• The Phillies signed veteran infielder Danny Espinosa to a minor-league deal. He will join the Triple A Lehigh Valley team and provide depth. He has been released from three organizations this season — the Yankees in spring training and the Blue Jays and Dodgers during the season.
• Pat Neshek will get some work for Single A Clearwater on Saturday. He has not pitched in the majors this season because of shoulder and forearm injuries. Manager Gabe Kapler said it was possible that Neshek could be back as early as the middle of next week, depending on how he progresses.
• Saturday is an important day for Jerad Eickhoff as he will start throwing his curveball in the bullpen. That pitch had caused discomfort in the fingers on his right hand (see story).