Nationals 7, Phillies 4: Ugly series finishes in sweep, extends skid



When it rains, it pours.

The Phillies experienced a wet and miserable trip to Washington, D.C., which was punctuated by a 7-4 loss Thursday night to the Nationals.

The Phillies lost all three games of what was originally scheduled a four-game series. Weather did not cooperate and the Phillies did not play well as they were swept in a series for the second time this season. 

Gabe Kapler's team has lost eight of its last 10 games and is 6-11 in June. 

The Phillies dropped to 39-35, the closest they've been to .500 since May 6, when they were 19-15. The Phillies are now 4½ games behind the first-place Braves.

The Nationals are 36-38 and 7-4 against the Phillies.

The keys

• The Phillies' base-running issues continued. 

In the second inning, Scott Kingery was thrown out at home plate trying to score from second on an infield single by Nick Pivetta.

In the fourth inning, Bryce Harper was also cut down at the plate attempting to score the tying run on a Jay Bruce single.

Both plays were the final outs of the inning. And both were not very close.

• After scoring just two runs over the first two games of the series, the Phillies generated some offense. They erased a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the fifth inning. The Phillies' pitching, though, did not hold up its end of the bargain. The Phillies were outscored 15-6 in the series.

• The Phillies surrendered three more homers. They've yielded 124 on the season, most in the National League.

Pivetta's night

Pivetta entered Thursday night with a career 1-5 record and 10.94 ERA against the Nationals.

His performance was in line with that abysmal track record.

Pivetta had success with his slider, getting six swinging strikes on 21 pitches, but couldn’t sustain the positive momentum he and the Phillies had built after tossing three straight scoreless innings from the third through the fifth.

He walked two, struck out three and allowed a pair of home runs. Pivetta has surrendered five homers over his last two starts. He was charged with six of the seven runs.

Lineup stuff

Harper went 1 for 5 with an RBI and three strikeouts out of the leadoff spot. Washington fans enjoyed his punchout in the ninth inning. He also had some fun with them.

The former National went 1 for 9 in the series with four walks. Harper is 3 for his last 21 (.143), while Rhys Hoskins is 3 for his last 22 (.136).

Bruce went 3 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs out of the three-hole. Jean Segura, hitting fifth, also homered.

Phillie killer

Anthony Rendon is right up there with some of the notable Phillie killers.

The Nationals' third baseman belted a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning shortly after the Phillies tied the game in the fifth.

Rendon has hit .296 with 18 homers, 65 RBIs and 76 runs scored in 98 career games against the Phillies.

Up next

The Phillies start a seven-game homestand Friday with a 7:05 p.m. game against the Marlins on NBCSP. Aaron Nola will be on the mound, opposed by Sandy Alcantara.

Friday night is Chase Utley Retirement Night at Citizens Bank Park.

After their three-game series against Miami, the Phillies will play four games vs. the Mets.

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