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Nationals survive a late rally from the Phillies after bullpen nearly implodes

Nationals survive a late rally from the Phillies after bullpen nearly implodes

PHILADELPHIA -- Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Jayson Werth hit homers to back Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals held on for a 7-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.

Scherzer (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits, striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner waited until the fourth game to take the mound because a broken knuckle set him back in spring training.

The injury didn't bother him against the Phillies, who fell to 3-11 in home openers at Citizens Bank Park.

Scherzer retired the first 10 batters before Howie Kendrick hit an opposite-field double in the fourth. He left with a 7-1 lead and a runner on.

Aaron Altherr hit a two-run homer off Sammy Solis in the seventh to get the Phillies within 7-4 and Freddy Galvis hit a two-run shot off Blake Treinen in the ninth to cut it to 7-6.

A day after giving up leads in the eighth and ninth innings in a 4-3 loss to Miami in 10 innings, Washington's bullpen allowed four runs and nearly blew another one.

Koda Glover entered with two runners on in the eighth and retired three straight batters. Treinen eventually finished for his third save after Galvis went deep.

Vince Velasquez (0-1) struck out 10, but allowed four runs and five hits in four innings. He hasn't won a game since last July 8.

The defending NL East champion Nationals are off to a 3-1 start while the Phillies have lost three in a row after winning their opener.

Harper hit a two-run shot in the first and Murphy ripped a two-run drive in the third. Werth made it 7-0 with a three-run homer off Joely Rodriguez in the fifth.

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DC Forecast: Storms in weather forecast for Nationals series against Phillies, Braves

DC Forecast: Storms in weather forecast for Nationals series against Phillies, Braves

With Bryce Harper and the Phillies coming to Washington, D.C., for a four-game series against the Nationals starting Monday, the weather isn't too happy.

Between Monday and Thursday, scattered showers and thunderstorms could threaten the Nationals and Phillies' matchups and cause delays, cancellations and postponements, according to NBC4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts. 

But, when the Atlanta Braves get into town Friday, the sun should be out and humidity will be down, with temperatures in the upper-70s by the 7:05 p.m. first pitch. 

The seven games in seven days, with four games against the Phillies and three against the Braves, could be a defining stretch for the inconsistent Nationals. Facing two NL East foes, Washington has the chance to make up much-needed ground on the first-and second-place teams in the division.

The Nats enter the week 33-38, 8.5 games back from the NL East first-place Atlanta Braves and 6.5 games back from the Phillies (39-32). 

 

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Nationals Roundup: Washington splits four-game stand with Diamondbacks

Nationals Roundup: Washington splits four-game stand with Diamondbacks

The Washington Nationals moved to 33-38 after splitting the four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. Now, Bryce Harper and the rival Philadelphia Phillies come to town for a four-game stretch that can prove vital to Washington and the team's better play.

Player Notes:

Stephen Strasburg gave up six runs over five innings on nine hits over five innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday. His ERA is now 3.75 with 115 strikeouts in 96 innings with a 1.06 WHIP, but can rebound Thursday against the Phillies.

He's not yet 21, but Juan Soto is playing like he's been in the league for years. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with his 11th homer on Saturday. He now has 41 RBI on the season to go along with an OPS of .885 over 62 games.

Adam Eaton went 3-for-3 with an RBI, two walks and a run scored in the Nationals’ lopsided 15-5 win on Sunday. The 30-year-old outfielder is fully healthy, hitting .280/.365/.398 with 41 runs scored, 19 RBI and five steals in 302 plate appearances.

Superstar Anthony Rendon went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three runs scored in the Sunday win, which included his 16th longball of the season. He'shitting .321/.415/.660 with 52 runs scored, 50 RBI and one stolen base across 246 plate appearances this season.

Injuries:

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, could return mid-June

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, out indefinitely 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

C Kurt Suzuki: Clavicle, sidelined

RP Kyle Barraclough: Biceps, 10-day IL

Coming Up:

Monday 6/17: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Tuesday 6/18: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Wednesday 6/19: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Thursday 6/20: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

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Source: Rotoworld