By Sam Bush
Darick Hall homered, doubled and drove in two, and the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 5-3.
Didi Gregorius added an RBI triple.
The Phillies are now a percentage point ahead of the Cards for the last wild card and they play four in St. Louis starting tonight.
“We’re playing well and getting a lot of contributions from a lot of people and that’s big,” interim manager Rob Thomson said.
Hall extended the lead to 5-2 with two outs in the seventh with a drive off the right-field foul pole. It was Hall’s fourth homer in eight games since being called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take over for injured star Bryce Harper (broken left thumb) as the club’s designated hitter batting in the cleanup spot.
“He’s really swinging the bat well,” Thomson said. “Darick’s been kind of a spark for us. He’s a pretty calm guy and has a lot of poise.”
Hall is hitting .290 with seven RBI.
“He’s just out there playing baseball like he’s on a sandlot,” Thomson said.
The Nationals kept Kyle Schwarber in the ballpark one day after the NL home run leader went deep twice against his former team. Schwarber finished 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI groundout in the fourth inning that put Philadelphia ahead 4-2.
Nick Nelson (3-1) gave up one hit in two scoreless innings in relief of starter Bailey Falter. Seranthony Dominguez finished off another strong performance by the Phillies’ bullpen, working a perfect ninth for his third save in four chances.
The Phillies went ahead with three runs in the third off Joan Adon (1-12).
Hall’s double off the wall scored Rhys Hoskins from first and moved Nick Castellanos to third. Castellanos scored on J.T. Realmuto’s sacrifice fly to left, and Hall scored on Didi Gregorius’ triple off the wall in right field that was misjudged by right fielder Soto. Soto camped under the ball at the warning track, but he didn’t reach out far enough to make the catch. Martinez said Soto got his glove caught on a chain link in the fence.
Adon’s struggles continued, as the 23-year-old right-hander gave up four runs on six hits in four innings with three strikeouts and three walks to raise his ERA to 7.10 in 14 starts.
“He’s got great stuff,” Martinez said. “We just have to continue to work with him on his command.”
Martinez said the starter for Adon’s next scheduled turn in the rotation is to be determined.
The Nationals took a 2-0 lead off Falter on Maikel Franco’s first-inning RBI single and Soto’s RBI single to right in the second.
Falter, filling in for injured right-hander Zach Eflin (right knee bruise), gave up those two runs on six hits in four innings.