Werth homers again in Philly, leaving fans booing (Nats win 5-1)

PHILADELPHIA - They still boo Jayson Werth every time he steps to the plate here at Citizens Bank Park, even six years since he left the Phillies to sign with the Nationals. And then they boo even louder every time he does something that makes those fans wish their hometown team had made more of an effort to re-sign him when they had the chance.

Werth was up to his old tricks again tonight, homering in the top of the first inning against Philadelphia right-hander Aaron Nola to give the Nationals a quick 1-0 lead.

The 37-year-old outfielder pounced on Nola's first pitch, sending it soaring over the left-center field fence for his eighth homer of the season. The crowd, which offered up its customary boo as the former Philly star was announced, turned even more sour as he rounded the bases.

Jayson Werth swing gray.png

This, of course, was nothing new. Werth has been terrorizing the Phillies ever since he signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals in December 2010. This is his 39th game here as a member of the Nats, during which time he has hit .285 with 10 homers, 32 RBIs, a .370 on-base percentage and .528 slugging percentage.

Werth's blast put the Nationals on top, but the Phillies rallied to tie the game with a run in the bottom of the third. David Lough singled to open the frame, then Cesar Hernandez sent a hard shot just to the right of center field. Ben Revere might normally have been able to cut it off and hold Hernandez to a single, but because he was shaded well into left-center on the pitch, he wound up chasing the ball all the way to the wall as Lough scored and Hernandez coasted into third base with an RBI triple.

That left Joe Ross trying to escape a jam with a man on third and nobody out, which he managed to do thanks to a pair of grounders to short with the infield drawn in. Hernandez didn't try to score on the first one, but he did break for home on the second. Danny Espinosa made a nice play, and Wilson Ramos made a nice tag to get Hernandez and keep this a 1-1 game after three innings.

Update: Hey, you'll never guess what Daniel Murphy just did. Yep, he homered. Again. On an 0-2 pitch. That's his ninth of the season, just five shy of his career high. He now has 46 hits in May, one shy of Al Oliver and Marquis Grissom's franchise record for a single month. And, get this, he's now hitting .397 this season when behind in the count. Yes, that's behind in the count. The MLB average for such situations is .199. Murphy is twice as good as the league average when behind in the count. Just remarkable. Nats lead 2-1 in the sixth.

Update II: The Murphy kid might just turn out to be decent. He just roped another single, a shot up the middle that deflected off reliever Andrew Bailey's leg and caromed to shortstop Freddy Galvis, whose throw to first was late. That was Murphy's 47th hit of May, tying the franchise record for hits in a single month that has been held by Al Oliver and Marquis Grissom. Pretty amazing. Nats still lead 2-1 in the eighth.

Update III: It's over. The Nats win 5-1, thanks to Danny Espinosa's two-run homer and Stephen Drew's pinch-hit, inside-the-park homer (yes, that's right) in the top of the ninth. Jonathan Papelbon wound up pitching in a non-save situation to close this one out.

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