HOSKINS BLASTS 14TH HR AS PHILLIES STOP NATS 5-4!

By Sam Bush

Rhys Hoskins homered and drew three walks, Maikel Franco hit his 20th home run and the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 5-4.

One of Hoskins’ walks came with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and produced what proved to be the winning run after Washington rallied from a 5-1 deficit. Facing reliever Sammy Solis, Hoskins worked a six-pitch walk without taking a swing.

“You could tell, and we talk about his plate discipline, he’ll take a walk with the bases loaded rather than try to hit a grand slam,” Phils manager Pete Mackanin said. “If it comes up, he gets the right pitch, he can do that also.”

Hoskins hit his 14th homer in 30 games since making his major league debut on Aug. 10, and Franco went long two batters later in the second inning. Cesar Hernandez added three hits for the Phillies.

Edwin Jackson (5-5) allowed both homers while pitching on his 34th birthday and was charged with five runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Washington’s magic number to clinch the NL East dropped to two when Miami lost to Atlanta. The Nationals can clinch the division with a win and a Marlins loss Sunday, but manager Dusty Baker said he’ll stick with his plan to rest his starters for a day.

Mark Leiter Jr. (3-5) allowed four runs and six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

Luis Garcia struck out Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendonin the eighth, and Hector Neris pitched the ninth for his 20th save, working around a leadoff walk.

“Garcia just cut right through the middle of their lineup,” Mackanin said. “Outstanding performance.”

Odubel Herrera was 0 for 4 and ended his hitting streak at 21 games, the longest in the majors this season.

Michael A. Taylor had a two-run homer, an RBI single and a walk for Washington, and Howie Kendrick added a solo shot and a single.

The Nationals, who had won five straight, began the night five games behind the slumping Dodgers for the best record in the National League. The teams meet for three games next weekend at Nationals Park.

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