Surging Phillies win 5th in a row, rally past Nationals 12-6

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper hit a go-ahead single against his former team as part of a six-run sixth inning, Rafael Marchán, Andrew McCutchen and Brad Miller hit two-run homers, and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied past the Washington Nationals 12-6 Tuesday for their fifth straight win.

The Phillies, who have scored at least seven runs in six consecutive games for the first time since June 1933, moved within 2½ games of idle Cincinnati for the race for the NL’s second wild card. Philadelphia improved to 8-1 at Nationals Park this season.

Carter Kieboom homered for Washington, which has lost four in a row and six of seven. The Nationals completed a 7-20 August, their worst full month since going 5-16 in April 2009.

The Phillies took control against tiring starter Patrick Corbin (7-14) and the Nationals’ erratic bullpen in the sixth. Marchán tied it with a two-run shot, and Nick Maton’s walk ended Corbin’s night. Reliever Andres Machado gave up a single and hit a batter to bring up Harper, who drove in two with a sharp hit to right-center, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

McCutchen followed with an RBI double, and then scored on Odúbel Herrera’s single to provide insurance.

Harper, who signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with Philadelphia in 2019 after playing seven seasons in Washington, went 3 for 5, even as he received his usual boos in his old ballpark. He is hitting .419 (26 for 62) with seven homers and 14 RBIs against the Nationals this season.

Corbin, who allowed six runs in five-plus innings, is tied for the major league lead in losses. He has allowed an NL-high 33 home runs, including eight in 24 innings against the Phillies.

Bailey Falter (2-0) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the victory.

Washington scored all five of its runs against starter Matt Moore, who surrendered six hits and five walks in 3 1/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: C J.T. Realmuto, who left Sunday’s game with left ankle soreness, was out of the lineup for the second game in a row. … Philadelphia placed Travis Jankowski on the paternity list and recalled INF/OF Matt Vierling from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Nationals: SS Alcides Escobar was out of the lineup a day after fouling a ball of the inside of his left knee and leaving in the first inning. … Washington placed RHP Kyle Finnegan on the paternity list and recalled RHP Wander Suero from Triple-A Rochester.

ROBLES DEMOTED

Washington optioned OF Victor Robles to Rochester, the 24-year-old’s first demotion to the minors since 2018. Robles, who started every game of the 2019 World Series and was the Nationals’ Opening Day starter in center this season, is hitting .203 with two homers and 19 RBIs and had started twice in the last nine games while ceding playing time to recently acquired OF Lane Thomas.

OF Andrew Stevenson was recalled from Rochester to fill Robles’ roster spot.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (7-7, 4.30 ERA) is 6-7 with a 4.08 ERA in 23 career starts against Washington, and allowed five runs in five innings on Aug. 5 in his lone turn against the Nationals this season.

Nationals: RHP Paolo Espino (4-4, 4.13) struggled in August, going 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA while not pitching into the sixth inning in any of his five starts.

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