PHILS DIDN’T PLAY AND UPPED LEAD OVER BRAVES TO 6 1/2 GAMES!

By Peter Marks

The Phils had the day off Thursday after a West Coast trip that saw them lose three in a row before winning the finale in San Francisco.

And, yet, they increased their lead in NL East over Atlanta to 6 1/2 games.

Trevor Williams combined with four relievers on a five-hitter and Washington beat the Braves 3-1 on Thursday night for the Nationals’ first four-game series win over the Braves since 2016.

Williams (5-0) gave up only four hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings. It marked the seventh start in his last eight outings he has allowed no more than one earned run. The right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.22.

The Nationals won three of four for their first four-game series win against Atlanta since Aug. 18-21, 2016 — the year before the Braves moved to Truist Park.

“It’s a big win,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “To come out of here with three wins in four games, that’s pretty good.”

The Braves have won the season series against the Nationals in each of the last six years, overlapping Atlanta’s six-year run of NL East titles.

“We beat a very good team in Atlanta that is always in the fight,” Nationals first baseman Joey Meneses said through a translator. “It gives us confidence.”

Washington closer Kyle Finnegan walked Ozzie Albies to open the ninth. Albies stole second, but Finnegan retired the next three batters for his 15th save.

Meneses gave Washington a 2-0 lead over Ray Kerr (1-2) with a two-run double in a three-run third inning.

Atlanta is 12-14 in May and has scored three or fewer runs in 11 of the losses.

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