WASHINGTON -- The first two weeks of the season have been shaky for the Washington Nationals' bullpen, which had the best ERA in the National League in 2016.
But veteran reliever Shawn Kelley thinks his group may have turned the corner Friday. The bullpen worked three scoreless innings as the Nationals won 3-2 in 10 innings over the Philadelphia Phillies.
"This is going to change. This is going to get better," said Kelley (1-0), who got the win as he threw a scoreless top of the 10th inning and fanned two of three batters. "It is behind us. Let's go.
"I had pretty good command. My job there is to get us back to the dugout."
Kelley did just that and then Bryce Harper led off the last of the 10th with a single to right and came around to score the winning run as Daniel Murphy lined a double to left field off Jeanmar Gomez.
"I was just trying to score. Like I said, you don't want to play (more) extras," Harper said. Murphy "did a great job. He had a great at-bat against Gomez."
The Phillies have lost four in a row after taking two of three from Washington last weekend at home.
Philadelphia has its own bullpen issues. Gomez (1-1), who also pitched the ninth, gave up the winning hit to Murphy with no outs.
Why did Phillies manager Pete Mackanin send out Gomez for the 10th?
"It boils down to who you have available," he said. "It is his (Gomez's) job now to give us multiple innings."
Mackanin decided not to go with lefty reliever Joely Rodriguez, who was available. Harper and Murphy both hit from the left side.
Rendon, hitting .133 at game time, tied the score at 2 with a two-out RBI double to right in the seventh inning off reliever Edubray Ramos. His second hit of the game scored pinch-hitter Chris Heisey, who had walked and reached second on a passed ball.
The Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Cesar Hernandez off Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.
Washington's Matt Wieters had an RBI single in the last of the second to tie the score at 1. His grounder up the middle scored Ryan Zimmerman, who had doubled and gone to third on an infield single by Jayson Werth.
Tommy Joseph, who hit 21 homers in 2016 as a rookie, went deep for the first time this season to give the Phillies a 1-0 edge in the second. His solo homer just eluded the leaping grab of center fielder Adam Eaton, who is listed at 5 feet 9.
Strasburg gave up two runs in seven innings before he was lifted. He is pitching out of the stretch all of the time this year, and he made his third start of the season Friday.
"He is getting used to it," Washington manager Dusty Baker said of throwing from the stretch. "Whatever works for him. We don't make any big deal out of it."
Phillies starter Aaron Nola went five innings and gave up one run and six hits with six strikeouts and no walks. He threw 90 pitches, 61 for strikes.
"The story to me was Nola," Mackanin said. "He gave us five solid innings. I could have sent him out for one more. He pitched well. I think that is going to do a lot for his confidence."
The confidence of the Phillies' bullpen may be another matter. The team has just one save in the first 10 games and a 5.11 team ERA.
NOTES: LHP Elniery Garcia, 22, a minor leaguer with the Phillies, was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball on Friday after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance. The suspension is effective immediately for Garcia, who was on the Double-A roster of Reading in the Eastern League. "I hate to hear anything like that," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. ... Nationals CF Adam Eaton crashed into the wall hard after a fine catch in the fifth inning to rob Freddy Galvis of extra bases. Eaton stayed in the game. ... Washington RHP Tanner Roark (2-0, 4.09 ERA) will face Phillies RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 0.90) on Saturday. ... Nationals SS Trea Turner (right hamstring strain), who went on the disabled list Monday, is eligible to return next week in Atlanta. "He has been getting a lot of treatment, riding the bike," Washington manager Dusty Baker said.