By Sam Bush
The Phillies, who were in first place in the NL East in late May with a 33-22 record, have given up.
Not officially, but it sure looked like that last night in DC.
They sank to 79-79 in this disappointing season, and they’ll have to win one of their last four games just to match last season’s 80-82 nothing-burger.
Wilmer Difo drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the seventh inning and Anibal Sanchez pitched seven solid innings as the Nationals beat the Phillies 5-2.
The Nationals maintained a one-game lead over Milwaukee in the race for the top NL wild card.
Washington trailed 2-1 when Asdrubal Cabrera singled and Yan Gomes doubled with one out in the seventh. Victor Robles followed with a sacrifice fly that tied the game. Difo, making his first start since May 16, followed with a single to right-center off reliever Mike Morin (1-3) that scored Gomes.
Howie Kendrick and Brian Dozier homered for the Nationals, who have won four straight.
With shortstop Trea Turner and third baseman Anthony Rendon rested, Difo started at short, Cabrera moved from second to third and Dozier started at second and hit leadoff.
Sanchez (11-8) allowed two runs and six hits, striking out seven without a walk. Sean Doolittle earned his first save since a stint on the injured list. He pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 35 attempts and first since Aug. 16.
Brad Miller hit a solo homer in the seventh, his third in two games, and Bryce Harper had two hits for the Phillies, who have lost five straight.
Phillies starter Drew Smyly allowed two runs in 6 1/3 and struck out a season-high 10 batters.