Bryce Harper blasts 40th homer, Nats win 12-2

PHILADELPHIA - The Nationals took advantage of a walk and a Phillies error to plate the game’s first run in the second.

LobatonThrowsSidebar.jpgPhillies right-hander Alec Asher walked Jayson Werth to start the frame. Clint Robinson then smoked a liner off first baseman Darin Ruf for a single. Ian Desmond followed with a bouncing ball to third baseman Chase d’Arnaud, but Ruf muffed the throw to first, leaving the bases loaded.

Jose Lobaton lifted a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Werth from third.

Update: Werth smacked the first pitch from Asher for a solo homer to left with one out in the fourth. It was Werth’s third home run of the series and 10th of the season.

Update II: Andres Blanco singled to start the bottom of the frame. Two batters later, Ruf crushed an 0-1 fastball high into the seats in left-center for a game-tying two-run homer off Nats starter Gio Gonzalez.

Update III: Lobaton and Michael A. Taylor singled to begin the fifth. Gonzalez dropped a sacrifice bunt advancing both runners and then Anthony Rendon ripped a base knock up the middle. Lobaton scored easily, but Taylor got hung up between third and the plate for the for the second out of the inning.

Yunel Escobar followed with a double smoked to the gap in right-center bringing Rendon home for the second run of the frame.

The two-out rally continued as Bryce Harper lined a single to center. Nats third base coach Bob Henley waved Escobar to the plate. Center fielder Aaron Altherr’s throw beat Escobar, but it appeared Escobar’s lead foot reached the plate before catcher Cameron Rupp applied the tag.

Home plate umpire Chris Segal called Escobar out. Nationals manager Matt Williams challenged the call, but the ruling stood.

Werth demolished a fastball from right-hander Hector Neris to deep center to start the sixth. It was Werth’s second two-homer game of the series.

Robinson and Desmond then laced back-to-back doubles to plate the sixth run of the night.

Update IV: Phillies right-hander Justin De Fratus hit Rendon to start the seventh. Two batters later, Harper launched a moonshot to right for his 40th homer of the season.

Update V: The Nats added to their lead in the eighth on RBI singles from Rendon and Escobar. Phillies right fielder Jeff Francoeur misplayed Escobar’s single and Rendon also scored all the way from first on the errror.

Gonzalez allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and a season-high 12 strikeouts over eight innings.

Update VI: Lobaton extended the advantage to 12-2 with an RBI single in the ninth. The Nats have 16 hits in the game.

Update VII: The Nats beat the Phillies 12-2 for their fourth straight win.

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