Obstruction call helps Phils sweep Nats for 14th win in 16
WASHINGTON (AP) — J.T. Realmuto hit a go-ahead two-run single in the 10th inning with the aid of an obstruction call, and the Philadelphia Phillies won 8-7 to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
The Phillies have won 14 of their last 16 games.
Bryce Harper had three hits against his old team in the opener, helping the Philadelphia win 5-3.
“It was a pretty good day at the office, it felt like, for everybody,” said Phillies second baseman Matt Vierling, who homered twice in the second game. “It was definitely long. It wasn’t just the stuff during the game. It was the heat, and the doubleheader and everything like that.”
Josh Bell homered twice in the nightcap and three times on the day for the Nationals, who have lost seven in a row. According to STATS, Bell became the first player to hit three homers, drive in five runs and walk three times in a single day and not be part of a victory since RBIs became an official stat in 1920.
Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius made a poor throw for a tying error on what should have been a game-ending grounder by Nelson Cruz in the ninth.
With the score 6-6 in the 10th, Realmuto singled to center off Steve Cishek (0-2) with one out and runners on second and third. Kyle Schwarber, the automatic runner at the start of the inning, scored easily and Rhys Hoskins collided with shortstop Luis García.
Third base coach Dusty Wathan sent Hoskins, and while the throw was easily in time, umpires allowed Hoskins to score on García’s obstruction.
“He knows the obstruction rule,” interim manager Rob Thomson said. “Huge. Really smart.”
Washington manager Dave Martinez was ejected by crew chief Dan Iassogna for arguing the play.
“If we felt like he was in the act of fielding the ball, then we wouldn’t have called obstruction,” Iassogna told a pool reporter. “But we felt like he already had an opportunity to field the ball, and then the contact occurred afterward. And then now it’s on the defense to get out of the way of the offensive player. And then we felt that because of the contact, Hoskins would have scored without the contact.”
Martinez said he thought interference should have been called on Hoskins.
“If he gets obstruction and is awarded third base, he’s not awarded home,” Martinez said. “After he touches third base and he rounds the base, to me it’s fair game. He got thrown out by 40 feet. So what are we doing? … He’s saying he would have scored. Play should have been dead to begin with.”
Ehire Adrianza hit an RBI double in the bottom half off José Alvarado (1-1).
Washington fell to an NL-worst 23-45. The Nationals have lost 10 of 12 overall and 10 consecutive home games to the Phillies.
Philadelphia improved to 13-2 under Thomson and moved four games over .500 for the first time this season. The Phillies have won 11 in a row against the Nationals, their longest streak ever against the franchise. Philadelphia took 10 in a row from the 1991 Montreal Expos.
Vierling, who entered with one home run in 66 at-bats, went deep off Paolo Espino to lead off the third inning of the second game and homered in the ninth against Tanner Rainey for a 6-5 lead and his first career multi-homer outing.
The Phillies trailed 5-3 entering the eighth and almost wound up empty-handed when it appeared Realmuto had grounded into an inning-ending double play. Realmuto was ruled safe upon replay review, and Harper --- booed vociferously in Washington, as he has been since signing with Philadelphia in 2019 --- hit a two-run, pinch-double to tie it one pitch after he was irked a 3-0 offering was called a strike.
“Harp was upset it wasn’t ball four, but I was like ‘Good. Let him hit,’” Thomson said.
In the first game, a makeup of a contest postponed by the lockout, Nick Castellanos hit a two-run double in the first off Joan Adon as the Phillies built an early 4-0 lead. Brad Hand worked out of a two-on, one-out jam of his own making in the ninth for his second save.
Ranger Suárez (5-4) allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings as the teams made up a game postponed by the lockout. Adon (1-11), summoned as the Nationals’ 27th man, allowed four runs in five innings while extending his major league lead in losses.
ON THE NUMBER
Former Washington infielder Ryan Zimmerman’s No. 11, which will be retired Saturday, was painted on the field in foul territory along both baselines. Zimmerman was the Nationals’ first draft pick after moving to Washington and played his entire 16-season career with the franchise.
Nationals: LHP Evan Lee departed in the seventh after walking four of his last five batters. He also threw two wild pitches in that stretch, and will have his shoulder examined. “When he misses the strike zone like that, I thought there was something wrong with him,” Martinez said. “So we’re going to check him out.”
Washington recalled RHP Cory Abbott from Rochester before the first game and optioned RHP Andres Machado to Rochester. Machado was 0-0 with a 5.48 ERA in 17 games for the Nationals.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (4-4, 3.42 ERA), who allowed 11 earned runs in nine innings over two starts against Washington last season, gets the nod Saturday.
Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (6-4, 4.33) is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA over his last three outings and makes his first start since June 8.
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