MLB

Nationals slow Phillies, prevent 5-game sweep

Phillies Nationals Baseball
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin throws during the second inning against the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
AP Photo/Nick Wass

WASHINGTON — Juan Soto hit a three-run homer and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-3 Sunday to avoid a five-game sweep.

Washington ended an eight-game skid and snapped Philadelphia’s seven-game road winning streak.

The Phillies haven’t swept a five-game series since pummeling the Marlins in 2001 at home. Bryce Harper and crew were seeking payback after being swept over five games by Washington in September of 2019.

Nats starter Jackson Tetreault (1-1) earned his first major league victory in his second appearance. The 26-year-old right-hander gave up three unearned runs over seven innings, with two walks, six hits and two strikeouts.

Tetreault was hit in the lower left leg by a 105.7 mph comebacker by Matt Vierling in the seventh. Athletic trainer Paul Lessard and manager Dave Martinez checked on Tetreault, who remained in the game after an extended delay. He finished the inning before walking to the dugout with a slight limp.

Soto’s first-pitch, three-run homer in the second ran counter to his problems with runners in scoring position this season. He entered Saturday’s game with a .476 OPS with men on second or third. Only one of his previous 13 homers was hit with runners in scoring position.

Former Phillie Maikel Franco’s sixth homer of the season put Washington up 8-3 in the fifth. Washington shortstop Luis García was 3 for 4.

Phillies starter Zach Eflin (2-5) continued to struggle on the road. He lasted just two innings and 38 pitches, allowing four runs on five hits. He has a 7.27 ERA on the road, compared to 1.95 at home.

César Hernandez doubled to score Yadiel Hernandez and boost the Nationals’ lead to 5-2 in the fourth. Nelson Cruz walked after Philadelphia intentionally walked Josh Bell to load the bases, plating another run in the fourth. Keibert Ruiz flew out to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Washington Nationals’ Maikel Franco celebrates his two-run home run with Cesar Hernandez during the fifth inning on Sunday.AP Photo/Nick Wass

Bryson Stott’s fourth-inning single drove in a run to cut Washington’s lead to 4-2.

Ruiz’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt to first allowed Kyle Schwarber to score from second and pull Philadelphia within 6-3.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Outfielder Bryce Harper (blister) was out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game. Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said Harper’s blister came from swinging the bat in the cage. Harper may be available Tuesday when the Phillies open a road series against Texas. Infielder Johan Camargo (right knee strain) played Sunday as the designated hitter for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He could be activated Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Monday is a day off for the Phillies. RHP Kyle Gibson (4-2, 4.04 ERA) opens a two-game road series against Texas on Tuesday.

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