Instant Replay: Nationals 6, Phillies 4

Instant Replay: Nationals 6, Phillies 4


The Phillies suffered a demoralizing 6-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon.

Bryce Harper hit a three-run home run against Joaquin Benoit on a full-count pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Nats the win. Harper hit two homers on the day.

For the second game in a row, the Phillies rallied in the late innings to take a lead.

The Phils scored two in the eighth and one in the ninth to take a 4-3 lead.

Cesar Hernandez, the hero of Saturday's win with a two-run homer in the eighth, was one of three Phillies with a hit in Sunday's eighth-inning rally. Daniel Nava also had a hit in the inning and Tommy Joseph singled home the tying run with two outs. The Phils also benefited from an error by Jayson Werth in the inning.

The Phils took the lead in the ninth on a leadoff double by Aaron Altherr, a groundout by Odubel Herrera and an RBI fielder's choice groundball by Freddy Galvis. Altherr scored on the play, diving across home plate as the throw from second base got away from catcher Matt Wieters.

Benoit allowed a one-out walk and a one-out single before Harper's homer with two outs.

Starting pitching report
Jerad Eickhoff gave up eight hits and three runs over six innings. He struck out five.

Eickhoff lost a 1-0 lead in the first inning when he gave up back-to-back doubles to the first two batters he faced.

In the third, he got ahead of Anthony Rendon, 0-2, before giving up an infield hit. The play at first was reviewed and the Phillies lost the challenge after a delay of 100 seconds. Eickhoff then emerged from the delay and threw a first-pitch slider that Harper crushed for a two-run homer.

Eickhoff has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 11 straight starts, dating to last season. The last Phillies starter to do that was Cole Hamels in 2014.

Run support is still a problem for Eickhoff. He has made 44 starts for the Phillies and the team has averaged just 3.79 runs while he's been in the game.

Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez gave up three runs, one of which was unearned, in 7 1/3 innings.

Gonzalez gave up just three hits and a run through seven innings and took a 3-1 lead to the mound in the eighth. He gave up two one-out hits and both turned into runs as the Phillies tied the game. However, only one of the runs was earned as an error by left fielder Jayson Werth loomed large.

In his last five starts against the Phils, dating to last season, Gonzalez has allowed just six earned runs in 33 2/3 innings.

Bullpen report
Joely Rodriguez and Pat Neshek pitched scoreless ball before Benoit blew up. Coda Glover gave up the game-tying single to Joseph.

The run was charged to Gonzalez.

Blake Treinen was in line for the loss before Harper's heroics.

At the plate
Hernandez had three hits. He led off the game with a solo homer, the first of his big-league career from the right side of the plate. That was the Phillies' only run until the eighth when they rallied for a pair of runs to tie the game.

Hernandez has three homers on the season and two have led off games. He had just six homers last season.

Altherr's huge leadoff double in the ninth came with him starting in center field in place of Herrera, who did not start for the first time all season. Herrera pinch-hit in the ninth and appeared to hurt himself running.

Harper had five RBIs with a pair of homers.

Health check
Left fielder Howie Kendrick was out of the starting lineup because of soreness near his ribs. He landed hard making a diving catch in Saturday's game. Brock Stassi got the start in left field.

Up next
The Phillies are off on Monday. They open a three-game series in New York against the Mets on Tuesday night. The Mets are 29-12 against the Phils since the start of 2015.

The Phils named Zach Eflin as their starting pitcher for Tuesday night's game. He will come up from Triple A to take the place of injured Clay Buchholz. Zack Wheeler (1-1, 7.45) will pitch for the Mets.

On Wednesday night, Vince Velasquez (0-2, 9.00) will oppose Robert Gsellman (0-1, 9.28)

On Thursday night, Aaron Nola (1-0, 3.27) will face Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.95)

Instant Replay: Phillies 8, Mariners 2

Instant Replay: Phillies 8, Mariners 2


SEATTLE — Aaron Nola pitched well and Maikel Franco came up huge with his bat and his glove in leading the Phillies to an 8-2 win over the Seattle Mariners in an interleague game on Tuesday night.

Nola won his second straight start to improve to 5-5.

Franco gave Nola a 3-2 lead with a tiebreaking, leadoff homer in the top of the seventh then preserved the lead with a sensational diving play to end the bottom of the inning.

Freddy Galvis had three singles and drove in two important runs late in the game.

The win was just the Phillies' 11th in 42 games on the road this season. They are 25-51 overall.

Starting pitching report
Nola reached a career-high of 113 pitches over seven gutsy innings. He gave up five hits and two runs and got a bunch of big outs with men on base. He walked four and struck out nine.

Nola got out of jams with two men on base three times, including in the bottom of the seventh when he preserved a one-run lead by striking out Mike Zunino and getting Jean Segura on a groundball to third. Franco made a tremendous diving play on the ball to end the inning and prevent the tying run from scoring.

Nola has won two straight starts. He has pitched 14 1/3 innings over that span, allowed just three runs and racked up 17 strikeouts.

Lefty James Paxton did not give up a hit until the fifth inning. He allowed three runs in seven innings of work. He gave up Franco's go-ahead homer.

Bullpen report
Joaquin Benoit pitched a scoreless eighth inning to preserve a two-run lead.

The Seattle bullpen allowed five runs in two innings.

At the plate
Franco ignited a game-tying, two-run rally in the top of the fifth. He led off that inning with a double, the Phillies' first hit. Cameron Perkins followed with an infield hit and Cameron Rupp drew a walk. The Phillies then scored a pair of runs on consecutive sacrifice fly balls by Ty Kelly and Daniel Nava. Galvis followed with a single and third base coach Juan Samuel got a little too aggressive in sending Rupp from second base. Rupp was cut down at the plate.

Franco's go-ahead homer in the seventh was his 10th of the season. Galvis pushed home an insurance run in the eighth. He followed Nava's leadoff double with an RBI single. Galvis drove home another run with a hit in the top of the ninth and Aaron Altherr put it out of reach with a two-run homer, his 13th of the season.

Segura smacked a two-run homer in the third to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.

In the field
Franco made a diving stab on Segura's smash down the third-base line to end the seventh inning and keep the Phils up by a run.

A night off
Odubel Herrera, he of several recent miscues and lapses in concentration, did not start Tuesday night. Manager Pete Mackanin said it was a night off, not a benching. Herrera said he has to start playing smarter baseball (see story).

Health check
Jerad Eickhoff, on the disabled list with an upper-back strain, will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. That will help determine if he's ready to return in the coming days.

Up next
The two-game series concludes on Wednesday afternoon. Rookie right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. (1-0, 3.60) pitches against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez (3-2, 4.68). Leiter pitched six scoreless innings in his first big-league start Friday in Arizona.

Scott Kingery pops 2 homers in second game with Triple A Lehigh Valley

Scott Kingery pops 2 homers in second game with Triple A Lehigh Valley

Scott Kingery's power didn't take long to transition to Triple A.

In his second game since being promoted from Double A to the IronPigs, the Phillies' second base prospect belted two homers in Lehigh Valley's 14-5 loss to Pawtucket on Tuesday night.

Arguably the most exciting player on the Phillies' farm this season, Kingery caught everyone's attention by blasting 18 home runs in 69 games at Reading. That, along with a .313/.379/.608 batting line and 19 stolen bases, earned him a highly anticipated jump to Triple A and Coca-Cola Park, home of the IronPigs.

"It looks like you can get one out to left," Kingery said ahead of his Triple A debut on Monday. "But it looks real deep to center."

Kingery was right — both of his shots Tuesday went to left field. He finished 2 for 5 with three RBIs in the leadoff spot for Lehigh Valley, hitting in front of a loaded lineup of J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, Dylan Cozens, Nick Williams and Andrew Pullin.

The IronPigs are an International League-best 49-29 and that should only improve with Kingery now in the fold.

"I know what I'm capable of and I know what I need to improve on," Kingery said Monday. "Wherever I'm at, I'm going to come out here and try to work on whatever I think I need to improve on and to give myself the best shot to get moved up."

In his debut, Kingery made a dazzling, over-the-head diving catch that was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter (see story).

On Tuesday, he was back to the long ball.