By Harry Allison

When last the Phillies were in the nation’s capital more than a they swept the Nats in three games.

The Phillies didn’t allow a run in the last two games of the series, getting strong starts from Jeremy Hellickson and Aaron Nola.

Hellickson (4-3, 3.80 ERA) faces the Nationals for the fourth time this season when the Phillies begin a three-game series tonight in Washington. Stephen Strasburg (9-0, 2.85) is slated to start for the first-place Nationals (36-24).

The Phils are reeling, having lost 10 of its last 13. The Phillies (29-31) lost to the visiting Chicago Cubs 8-1 on Wednesday. First baseman Ryan Howard is hitting .150 after fanning three times Wednesday.

“Well, the only good news is we don’t see the Cubs the rest of the year,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin told

The Nationals scored at least 10 runs for the third game in a row in an 11-4 victory in Chicago against the White Sox on Wednesday. But Washington lost 3-1 with just five hits in the series finale Thursday, which meant the Phillies (off on Thursday) were in the nation’s capital long before the Nationals.

Washington is coming off a three-city, nine-game road trip that matches a season-long 11-day swing. The Nationals were 6-3 on the trip.

“This can be a dangerous lineup,” center fielder and leadoff hitter Ben Revere told The Washington Post. “I know we’ve got a few guys trying to feel out their swings, and I’m one of them. But when every single body is on the same page, we’re going to be a fun team to watch.”

Said manager Dusty Baker to The Post: “You just got to keep it going and not worry about what we did yesterday — just memorize it and try to figure out how to do that (hitting) on a daily basis.”

Strasburg has won 12 decisions in a row dating back to last year. It is the longest streak in D.C. baseball history since Walter Johnson won 13 in a row in 1924.

He will be making the start six years and two days after his Major League debut — when he fanned 14 at home against thePittsburgh Pirates — and seven years after he was taken first overall in the MLB draft out of San Diego State.

Strasburg left his last start Saturday in Cincinnati in the sixth inning with a cramp in his right calf on a muggy day. The Nationals lost — the first time in 15 starts Washington did not win a game started by the right-hander dating back to last year.

“I just got real dehydrated out there,” Strasburg told reporters after the game. “It just kind of grabbed me a little bit on a pitch to (Brandon) Phillips. I got some treatment on it and it feels fine.”

The Washington player with the most at-bats against Hellickson is utility infielder Stephen Drew, who is hitting .364 in 11 at-bats against the right-hander.

Hellickson, from Iowa, has gone seven innings in his last two starts against Washington and fanned eight each time. In those two games he has allowed one run and five hits, after he was hit hard the first time he faced the Nationals in 2016.

Washington slugger Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch by Hellickson in a game earlier this month in Philadelphia and that caused Harper to miss a few games. Hellickson batted eighth in the lineup in his last start at Washington in April.

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