ROAD-WARRIOR PHILS TAKE OUT NATS IN 10!

By Sam Bush

Rhys Hoskins’ go-ahead single in the 10th inning highlighted the Phillies rally past the Nationals 5-2 on Wednesday.

The Phils stayed a game behind the Mets in NL East and have won seven of their last nine and consecutive road games for the first time this season.

Brad Hand (2-2), who blew a save Saturday against the New York Yankees and then suffered the loss the next afternoon in the Bronx, was staked to a 2-1 lead in the ninth. He quickly gave it back on Odúbel Herrera’s one-out home run. It was the first home run allowed by Hand since Sept. 4, 2019, a span of 37 appearances.

Herrera has back-to-back multihit nights for the first time this season and has raised his average from .053 to a season-high .229 since May 2.

“I was ready to see the ball and hit it, and he threw me a hanging breaking ball,” Herrera said. “I recognized it and put a good swing.”

Hand allowed a leadoff single to Harper in the 10th, moving automatic runner Andrew McCutchen to third. Kyle Finnegan entered and promptly surrendered Hoskins’ RBI single. Nick Maton and Andrew Knapp added run-scoring singles later in the inning.

José Alvarado (3-0) pitched a scoreless ninth, and Héctor Neris worked a perfect 10th for his seventh save.

Tied 1-all in the sixth, Alex Avila lofted a fly to the warning track in right-center. Harper struggled to get his bearings tracking it while Herrera scampered over. The ball fell between the two outfielders, who then ran into each other in a belated attempt to salvage an out.

Washington fans, who have booed Harper at every opportunity since the 2015 NL MVP left the Nationals to sign a 13-year, $330 million deal with Philadelphia in 2019, savored the moment as Harper tumbled to the warning track and Avila wound up with a triple that scored Starlin Castro.

“One of us needed to take control right there and get that out,” Harper said. “(Zack) Wheeler doesn’t deserve that the way he was pitching tonight, and I think as a team we weren’t going to let him get that loss tonight with the way he was throwing. Definitely miscommunication out there. We need to be better, and that won’t happen again.”

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