Washington Nationals bats again silenced by Jeremy Hellickson in 4-2 loss

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Harper hit a two-run homer in the third inning and a game-ending, three-run drive with two outs in the ninth, leading the Washington Nationals over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 on Sunday.

The 26-year-old righty has allowed a home run in both starts this season, yet he still hasn't given up more than three earned runs in a start since August 18 last season.

That means Mackanin's early task will be to make sure that the Phillies aren't so deep in the standings by Memorial Day that the season becomes irrelevant, the players lose their passion and the front office begins to leak patience.

One of Strasburg's two starts came against the Phillies although he didn't receive a decision in a 4-3 loss on Sunday.

Bundy (2-1) allowed five hits and one walk while striking out six as the Orioles (8-3) took three of four from the Blue Jays (2-10). Jerad Eickhoff again pitched six innings to keep the Phillies close. Odubel Herrera moved Altherr to third with a swinging bunt back to the pitcher before Freddy Galvis scored Altherr on a fielder's choice grounder to second.

"You get your starter to give you a chance every night, it's huge", Wieters said.

Murphy is off to a blazing hot start to the season as he is batting.444/.457/.711 with two home runs, 10 RBI's, and seven runs scored in 46 plate appearances this season.

The winning pitcher was Shawn Kelley (2-0), who got the last out in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded, while Benoit fell to 0-1.

Michael Saunders had two hits for the Phillies and Anthony Rendon and Murphy had two hits for Washington. The play at first was reviewed and the Phillies lost the challenge after a delay of 100 seconds. With a runner on third and two outs, the Nats were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but Tommy Joseph poked a single through the left side of the infield to tie the game.

Ruf was 11 for 31 with three home runs, three doubles and eight walks off Gonzalez, tormenting him while in a Phillies uniform. That latter slugging percentage number is tops among starting position Phillies.


Run support is still a problem for Eickhoff. Carrasco gave up two runs, four hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings. Hernandez found a way to alter the script of the game, however, perhaps because of a little 71-year-old voice in his head, one belonging to a certain bench coach trying to show this young leadoff hitter the way he went about the business of getting on base back in the day.

Then Harper came to the plate with the game on the line and one homer already under his belt. However, only one of the runs was earned as an error by left fielder Jayson Werth loomed large.

The four-time All-Star and 2015 National League (NL) MVP, who had five RBIs in the game, has been off to a great start this season. Neshek has quietly been a quality addition to this bullpen.

Blake Treinen, who won the closer spot in Spring Training, has straight up failed in that role so far.

Has Harper, who had three hits, put a rough 2016 season behind him? An eighth inning home run by Cesar Hernandez against Joe Blanton resulted in the game-winning run and sealed the victory for Philadelphia. That was the Phillies' only run until the eighth when they rallied for a pair of runs to tie the game. Hernandez had a much longer hit in the eighth that propelled the Phillies to a win. The bullpen has given up a major-league high 10 homers this season.

CHICAGO - Adam Frazier went 3-for-4, including a three-run homer in the ninth inning, to lead Pittsburgh to a victory over Chicago. It's a different game if they don't catch a lot of those balls.

Up next The Phillies are off on Monday.

Daniel Murphy went 0 for 4, stopping his 10-game hitting streak. The guy just seems to hit home runs at will whenever he's matched up against Philadelphia pitching.

The clutch bat of Bryce Harper helped overcame a multitude of mistakes by his teammates Sunday afternoon.

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