Bryce Harper caps big day with walk-off 3-run blast to lift Washington Nationals over Philadelphia Phillies

By David Driver, The Sports Xchange   |   April 16, 2017 at 5:27 PM
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WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer with two outs in the last of the ninth off Joaquin Benoit as the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 on Sunday, taking two of three games in the series.

The blast capped a big day in which Harper went 3-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs.

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. The second homer of the game by Harper also scored Chris Heisey, who had walked with one out, and Adam Eaton, who had singled.

Aaron Altherr doubled to lead off the ninth and scored on a fielder's choice to break a tie and give the Phillies a 4-3 lead.

Altherr was on third after a groundout and then scored when Freddy Galvis hit a grounder off reliever Blake Treinen to second baseman Daniel Murphy. His throw was in time to catcher Matt Wieters, who dropped the ball as Altherr scored. The Phillies left the bases loaded as Kelley retired Maikel Franco to end the ninth.

Washington starter Gio Gonzalez, who gave up three runs (two earned) in 7 1/3 innings, retired 10 batters in a row before Cesar Hernandez singled with one out in the eighth. Gonzalez then allowed a single to Daniel Nava and Hernandez scored as the ball got past left fielder Jayson Werth for an error. Koda Glover then gave up an RBI single to Tommy Joseph as the Phillies tied the game at 3.

Harper broke a tie with a two-run homer in the third as Washington took a 3-1 lead. His third homer of the year also scored Anthony Rendon (two hits), who reached on an infield single that was upheld after a Phillies replay challenge with two outs.

The Nationals had tied the game at 1 in the last of the first on an RBI double by Rendon.

Hernandez (three hits) of the Phillies led off the game with a solo homer to left on a 90 miles-per-hour fastball on a 2-0 pitch from Gonzalez. It was the second homer in as many at-bats for Hernandez, who hit a homer in the eighth inning Saturday and then led off a game with a homer for the second time this season Sunday.

Jerad Eickhoff, the Phillies starter, gave up eight hits and three runs in six innings in his shortest outing of the year. Eaton had three hits for Washington.

NOTES: Phillies manager Pete Mackanin was drafted in the fourth round by the American League Washington Senators (now Texas Rangers) in 1969. ... Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (1-1, 2.13) will face Atlanta RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-1, 6.35) on Tuesday in new Sun Trust Park. ... The Phillies are also off Monday and will face Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (1-1, 7.45) on Tuesday in New York. ... The Phillies made just their third error of the season when 3B Maikel Franco threw the ball past first on an infield single by CF Adam Eaton in the fifth.

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