September 16, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 141: LaRoche Helps Nats Sneak Past Phillies with 3-2 Win

First baseman Adam LaRoche went 2-for-4 with two home runs to help the Washington Nationals to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon.

In addition to LaRoche’s two runs scored, Ian Desmond crossed the plate once to account for the third run on a day in which both starting pitchers came through with decent outings.

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez (W, 8-9) had the upper hand throughout the game, however. Through six innings pitched, he allowed just two runs – one earned – over five hits and three strikeouts. For Philly, Cole Hamels dealt three earned runs over seven hits, three walks and seven strikeouts through 6.1 innings.

Philadelphia came up with the unearned run early when, with two outs and Grady Sizemore on first, Marlon Byrd singled up the middle. On the play, Denard Span committed a throwing error, which allowed Sizemore to score and brought Byrd to third.

LaRoche led off the second inning with the Nats’ answer – a solo shot to right field to tie the game.

Both teams remained quiet on offense until the fourth. Carlos Ruiz doubled and Byrd singled, allowing Darin Ruf’s sacrifice fly to plate the go-ahead run for Philadelphia. Gonzalez, however, pitched out of the inning without allowing an additional run as both Maikel Franco and Freddy Galvis were jammed up.

LaRoche repeated his feat in the bottom of the fourth when, once more, he led off with a solo shot to right to tie things up.

With a new ballgame on the line, Gonzalez and Hamels matched each other’s performances until the sixth inning, when Nationals manager Matt Williams’ decision to start Scott Hairston over Bryce Harper paid off.

Entering Sunday’s game, Hairston was 18-for-46 off Hamels and, though the outfielder failed to get a hit on the day, he made contact when it counted most.

After LaRoche fell short of a third straight lead-off homer, Desmond doubled to left and came home on Hairston’s sacrifice fly in a similar spot.

Asdrubal Cabrera singled to keep the inning alive, but Jose Lobaton grounded out to prevent the Nats from tacking on runs.

Having done enough to put the Nats in position to win, Hairston was pulled from the game to allow Harper to play. But, the Nats had no luck against Philly relievers.

Fortunately for Washington, the same was true for the Phillies versus Washington pitching.

Aaron Barrett earned his sixth hold of the season after tossing an inning of no-hit baseball. Tyler Clippard earned his 32nd after allowing one hit and one walk in his inning pitched, and Drew Storen assumed the closer role with a hitless ninth that featured two strikeouts.

With the win, the Nationals are seven games up on the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. Washington’s Magic Number is now 14 thanks to a Miami win over the Braves.

 

 

About Alyssa Wolice

Alyssa Wolice is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals and Wizards. As a former production assistant, she covered the Nationals, Redskins, Capitals, Wizards, D.C. United and local collegiate teams. You can follow Alyssa on Twitter @awolice.

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