WASHINGTON (AP) — Jayson Werth hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning, helping the Washington Nationals rally past the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.
The Nationals (39-24) improved to a season-best 15 games over .500. It was the second three-game sweep of Philadelphia in two weeks for Washington, which has won 10 of its last 13.
The Phillies (29-34) fell to a season-high five games under .500 and have lost 17 of their last 22 games.
Philadelphia closer Jeanmar Gomez (2-2) loaded the bases by surrendering one-out singles to pinch hitter Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa and a two-out walk to pinch hitter Clint Robinson. Werth then singled to center to bring home Harper and Espinosa.
Jonathan Papelbon (1-2) earned the victory despite giving up a home run to former teammate Maikel Franco to lead off the ninth inning. The Nationals acquired Papelbon from Philadelphia last year.
The Nationals staked right-hander Joe Ross to a 3-0 lead with back-to-back sacrifice flies in the first inning and Espinosa’s 11th home run to lead off the second. But that was all they would muster against Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan, who had lost five consecutive starts and struggled early with his control.
Morgan, who struck out a career-high eight, allowed only three baserunners after Espinosa’s homer and lasted 6 2/3 innings – his longest outing since May 10. Morgan threw 17 balls in the first inning and 20 afterward.
The Phillies, who scored only one run over 14 2/3 innings against Ross in his two previous starts against them, tied it with Cody Asche’s first homer of the year in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth.
Phillies: Franco was attended to by the team’s athletic training staff after landing awkwardly after tagging out Chris Heisey in a rundown in the fourth inning, but remained in the game.
Nationals: RHP Matt Belisle, on the disabled list since April 27 with a right calf strain, remains on a rehabilitation assignment. Belisle has pitched in nine minor league games since May 23.
Phillies: Jerad Eickhoff (3-8, 3.68 ERA) faces the Blue Jays for the first time in his career as Philadelphia begins a two-game series in Toronto on Monday.
Nationals: The Cubs visit for three games starting Monday. The Cubs swept four games from Washington last month in Chicago and walked Harper 13 times during that series.
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