The Phillies have suffered a few brutal losses this season. This was another.
The Phils rallied for five runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a three-run lead then quickly gave that lead right back in a demoralizing 10-8 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
Relievers Pat Neshek and Adam Morgan failed to protect a three-run lead in the top of the eighth. They combined to give up four runs. Morgan relieved Neshek with two men on base and two outs in the eighth. He promptly gave up a game-tying, three-run homer to Kurt Suzuki. Victor Robles followed with a solo homer to right to give the Nats the lead.
The sellout crowd booed loudly on both home runs. Morgan had been the Phillies’ best reliever this season before the difficult inning. He had not allowed a run in 16 previous outings this season.
The loss hurt because the Phils staged a dramatic rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to take the lead. Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Sean Rodriguez and Phil Gosselin all had RBI doubles in that inning. Realmuto’s two-run double put the Phils ahead.
The loss left the Phils at 18-14.
Washington is 14-18.
• Phillies starter Jake Arrieta and reliever Juan Nicasio both made costly errors that led to a total of three unearned runs.
• In addition to sloppy defense, the Phils had missed chances, including a big one in the bottom of the sixth. They had runners on second and third with one out in a tie game and Patrick Corbin’s pitch count had climbed over 100. Manager Gabe Kapler sent up Cesar Hernandez to pinch-hit. Hernandez struck out feebly and was booed. Andrew McCutchen then took a called third strike. End of threat.
• Moments after the Phillies’ blown opportunity in the sixth, the Nats scored two unearned runs to take the lead in the top of the seventh. Washington’s first two batters of the frame reached on infield hits and both scored when Phillies’ reliever Nicasio made an errant throw to first base on a bunt.
The right-hander went six innings and gave up three runs, one of which was unearned. He walked one and struck out seven.
Arrieta has pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than three earned runs in six of seven starts.
Sights and sounds
A sellout crowd of 43,319 showed up for Jimmy Rollins’ retirement ceremony. The crowd cheered with that old electricity when the Phillies rallied for five runs in the seventh and booed with plenty of angry gusto when the Phils gave up the lead in the eighth.
Jean Segura had his 12th multi-hit game. Hoskins has at least one RBI in six straight games. He leads the team with 29.
Hats off to Jimmy
Rollins reflected on his career before the game (see story).
The series and the homestand concludes on Sunday afternoon. Zach Eflin (3-3, 3.34) pitches for the Phillies against Anibal Sanchez (0-4, 5.91). First pitch is 2 p.m.
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