Rhys Hoskins, Jay Bruce and Jean Segura provided the offense and Spencer Howard earned his first big-league pitching victory as the Phillies righted themselves with an 8-6 win over the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night.
The win, which came after a loss to Atlanta on Sunday night, was the Phillies’ sixth in the last seven games.
The Phils are 15-15 with 30 games to play in the sprint season. They are still on track to reach Bryce Harper’s goal of nine wins in 10 games. He went on record as saying that’s what the team needed to turn things around after the Phils lost a fifth game in a row August 22 in Atlanta.
The Phillies are 3-0 against the defending World Series champion Nationals this season with three more games to play this week.
Washington is 12-20.
The rookie right-hander showed no ill effects from an 11-day layoff. His first four outs were strikeouts. He went five innings and gave up five hits and two runs. The runs came in the fifth inning when Howard gave up a single to Trea Turner and a homer to Juan Soto, who hit two in the game.
Rookie JoJo Romero did a nice job protecting a 6-2 lead after Howard left. Romero got four outs, two on strikeouts. He has 6 strikeouts and one walk in three hitless innings since joining the club. He is throwing the ball with confidence.
The Phils will need to clear a spot on the 28-man roster to add David Phelps on Tuesday. It would be easy to option out Romero to clear that roster spot, but he’s throwing so well the Phillies might have to consider another solution.
Hunter on a roll
Tommy Hunter got four important outs, including three in the eighth, to protect the lead. Two of the outs in the eighth came with runners on second and third.
In his last eight appearances, Hunter has given up just one run in 9⅓ innings. He’s walked just one and struck out eight over that span.
That’s something to flex about.
Hoskins and Segura are picking up some of the slack as Harper and J.T. Realmuto have cooled a bit.
Hoskins clubbed a solo homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the seventh. He has homered in three straight games and four of the last five. He has eight RBIs in his last three games.
Segura had a three-run double in the fourth, giving him eight RBIs in his last six games.
Bruce came off the IL with a second-inning homer.
The Phillies hit 41 homers in August. It was just the 14th time in club history that they reached 40 homers in a single month.
Phillies’ top three months for homers:
46 – September 2019
44 – June 2004
43 – August 2009
A bullpen remake
Most of the original cast is gone. A closer look.
Despite that …
Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman, two of the new bullpen additions, combined to give up three homers to make the game closer than it should have been.
They are all right here.
Aaron Nola (3-2, 3.00) pitches Tuesday night against Washington lefty Patrick Corbin (2-2, 3.82).