Game in a nutshell: How good must this one have felt for the Nationals and their fans? After experiencing tense, low-scoring nailbiters almost every night of the week, this time everyone got to enjoy a rout. Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and Chad Tracy all homered to ignite the lineup. Gio Gonzalez tossed seven innings of one-run ball. And a near-sellout crowd of 39,496 roared over and over again as the home team blew out its hated division rivals. Winners now of seven straight (and 11 of 13) against the Phillies dating back to last season, the NL East-leading Nationals now hold a 5 12-game lead over now last-place Philadelphia.
Hitting highlight: Given the manner in which the Phillies seemed to keep pitching around Bryce Harper to put the onus on Jayson Werth, the 126 million right fielder was going to have to deliver at some point. He finally did in the bottom of the fifth, belting a three-run homer to left to put the Nationals ahead for good. It had been a frustrating weekend to that point for Werth, who had stranded seven runners on base. But that big blast against his former team had to be particularly satisfying.
Pitching highlight: Having used up a bunch of relievers during last night's 11-inning marathon, the Nationals desperately needed Gio Gonzalez to pitch deep into this game. The left-hander did exactly that, tossing seven splendid innings of one-run, four-hit ball to earn his third victory. Gonzalez even turned things up a notch at the plate, belting a double to deep right field and sending another long fly ball to the warning track in center.
Key stat: Nationals starting pitchers have now allowed zero or one earned run in 18 of 27 games this season.
Up next: Having already beaten the Phillies seven straight times dating back to last season, the Nationals will go for the weekend sweep on national TV. Jordan Zimmermann faces Cole Hamels at 8:05 p.m. on Sunday Night Baseball.