By Peter Marx

Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber went deep and the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 8-5.

Harper homered for the first time since June 5, a span of 102 plate appearances that also included a two-month stint on the I.L. with a broken thumb. It matched the longest stretch of plate appearances between homers in Harper’s career, originally set in 2014 when he was a member of the Nationals.

“When he’s in the lineup he just steps into the box and there’s a presence there,” Schwarber said of Harper. “Pitchers feel it. It’s an intimidating presence, and rightfully so.”

Schwarber homered for the first time since Aug. 29 to stay atop the league leaders.

The Phillies (77-62), kept pace in the N.L. wild card race in a three-team race for the final two wild card spots with San Diego and Milwaukee. The Phillies, who entered play a half-game behind the Padres, and three-and-a-half games ahead of the Brewers, have a tiebreaker advantage on both teams.

Brandon Marsh and Nick Maton also homered for Philadelphia. Marsh finished with a team-high three hits.

“He wasn’t hitting the ball at the beginning of the year in Anaheim,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said of Marsh. “He had a lot of swing and miss. But (hitting coach Kevin) Long saw some stuff and they’ve been working on it. Brandon is a diligent worker and we’re seeing some good things out of him.”

Ranger Suarez (9-5) earned the win for the Phillies, throwing 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He finished with four strikeouts.

It wasn’t a great outing for Suarez, but he struggled to get through four innings in each of his previous two starts, so get into the seventh inning and throw 103 pitches were both important outcomes.

“It was good to do that after my last two outings,” Suarez said. “The last time I threw 100-plus pitches was when I hurt my back, so it felt good to be able to do that.”

Things got hairy for the Phillies in the ninth inning as the Nationals scored a run and loaded the bases against Connor Brogdon, but the Phillies reliever was able to strike out Nelson Cruz to end the game.

Joey Maneses hit a two-run homer and Lane Thomas had three hits and two RBI for the Nationals (49-91), who lost for the fourth time in the last five games and fell to 2-12 for the season against Philadelphia.

Erick Fedde (6-10) took the loss for Washington. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in just three-and-two-thirds innings.

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