By Michael Marzzacco
After a come-from-behind victory the night before, the Nats looked to win their third in a row in the second game of their three game set against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nats entered the game having their star player, Bryce Harper out of the lineup due to injury. He took a pitch off of his right leg and manager Dusty Baker said he is listed as day-to-day. However, that didn’t stop the Nats bats at all as they clubbed four home runs to beat the Phillies 5-1.
Jayson Werth got it all started in the first inning. Werth, who always gets booed when he’s back in Philly, took the first pitch of the at-bat into the left-centerfield seats for his eighth home run of the year.
The Phillies would tie it in the bottom of the third and the game remained tied until the sixth. Daniel Murphy continued his hot month by hitting his ninth home run of the season over the right field wall.
Murphy had a hot month last October when he led the Mets to the National League pennant. In his second month with the Nationals, he had a hot month of May. His average rose to .397 on the season and he tied a franchise record for most hits in a month with 47 which includes seven home runs. The last time he hit seven home runs in a month… was that October.
Up 2-1 heading into the ninth inning, the Nationals added some insurance runs. Danny Espinosa hit a two-run shot into the right field seats. Then Stephen Drew came in to pinch hit for reliever Felipe Rivero. He hit a shot over to the out of town scoreboard in right field. Philies outfielder Odubel Herrera leapt for the ball but couldn’t secure it and it allowed Drew to race around the bases for an inside the park home run.
“Halfway to third, I could still see (Nats third base coach Bobby Henley) waving his arms, and I was like, ‘Man, I gotta kick it into gear here.’ Lucky for me that throw was offline. He saw something better than I did. That’s a good send right there. You don’t see that too often,” said Drew.
Nats manager Dusty Baker praised his bench.
“My bench has been outstanding. I think we have one of the better benches around. That’s why we’re not afraid to play anybody at any time,” said Baker.
It wasn’t just the hitting that pounded the Phillies. Nats starting pitcher Joe Ross had a solid outing as he went seven innings with five strikeouts while allowing only one run on three hits, earning the win. Rivero and Jonathan Papelbon worked the final two innings, closing the door.
The Nationals conclude their three game series with the Phillies tonight at 7:05. Max Scherzer (5-4, 4.05 ERA) gets the start for the Nats while the Phillies will counter with Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67 ERA).