Notes From The Phillies' 6-4 Loss To Washington

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The right-hander from California won his first 13 decisions last season for the Washington Nationals, becoming one of the few pitchers in baseball history to pull that off.

The bullpen worked three scoreless innings as the Nationals won 3-2 in 10 innings over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Kevin Pillar hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Toronto against Vidal Nuno. The Phillies came into Sunday with a major-league best 4.10 pitches per plate appearance, a sign they are working pitchers in an attempt to get to the bullpen.

Jeremy Hellickson (2-0) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. They were beaten Sunday by Harper, who hit two home runs, showing that he is the level of star the Phillies have lacked for too long. The Phils also benefited from an error by Jayson Werth in the inning.

Down 3-1, the Phillies rallied for a 4-3 lead heading to the last of the ninth. He was the backup past year to Wilson Ramos and now has the same role behind Matt Wieters, who got a rare day off Saturday along with left fielder Jayson Werth. He gave up a two-run to shot to Bryce Harper (who else?). A Phillies offense stringing hits together through a six-inning fit of ground-outs made a second straight miraculous series win against the division favorites a reality. He struck out five, including Justin Upton three times.

He hit a home run that was huge; he gave us that two-run lead.

Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer off Hill in the third inning, and five batters later, Hill walked Jake Lamb with the bases loaded for a 2-0 Arizona lead.

That means Mackanin's early task will be to make sure that the Phillies aren't so deep in the standings by Memorial Day that the season becomes irrelevant, the players lose their passion and the front office begins to leak patience.

Down 0-2 in the count and a run in the game with two outs in the ninth, Harper battled back to a full count, then buried a ball in the batter's eye, 423 feet to dead center field.

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Nationals recruit Adam Eaton went three for five with two runs scored on Sunday, raising his average to.326 for the season. The last Phillies starter to do that was Cole Hamels in 2014. The problem is that he hasn't received enough run support.

McCutchen's run-scoring grounder brought home pinch runner Alen Hanson in a three-run eighth as the Pirates (6-6) completed their first three-game sweep of the Cubs since September 5-7, 2014. Joely Rodriguez and Pat Neshek combined for two innings of relief, eerily allowing one hit and no earned runs or walks combined.

After Joe Blanton gave up a two-run homer Saturday, the Nationals have a 6.29 bullpen ERA and only one reliever (Matt Albers) has had a scoreless April. They're constantly asked to protect one-run leads while the offense barely scratches out three or four runs a game. Mike Dunn struck out the two batters he faced in the eighth, Adam Ottavino got another out and Greg Holland pitched a ideal ninth for his seventh straight save this season. Coda Glover gave up the game-tying single to Joseph. Ruf was 11 for 31 with three home runs, three doubles and eight walks off Gonzalez, tormenting him while in a Phillies uniform. Brandon Phillips had three hits and three RBI as Atlanta improved to 3-0 at new SunTrust Park.

The Braves didn't have a hit off Padres starter Trevor Cahill until the fifth but scored two runs in that inning, two more times in the sixth and seventh and three times in the eighth.

Sometimes demoralization hits late in a season. He has crushed 15 home runs against the Phillies since the start of the 2015 season.

MIAMI - Pinch hitter J.T. Riddle hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to lead Miami over NY.

The Nats enjoyed excellent performances from Gonzalez and Harper, but played a somewhat sloppy game other than that.

Health check Left fielder Howie Kendrick was out of the starting lineup because of soreness near his ribs. It's worth recalling, of course, that he got off to a hot start in 2016 before backsliding.

Up next The Phillies are off on Monday.

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