Phillies Game Story

Nationals out-run Phillies to prevent weekend sweep

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WASHINGTON — The Nationals ran wild and the Phillies ran into outs as Washington prevented a sweep with a 3-2 win Sunday afternoon.

It was an erratic start from Cristopher Sanchez, who did not have the feel for his sinker or changeup. He fell behind in the count to nearly half the hitters he faced, allowed some hard contact and missed few bats. He was charged with three runs over 4⅓ innings and it could've been worse as the Nationals lined out four times.

Sanchez pitched with a runner in scoring position in each of the first four innings. Washington scored in the second, third and fifth. Rob Thomson pulled him after a one-out walk put men on first and third in the fifth inning. J.T. Realmuto had just made a throwing error on a stolen base attempt by Lane Thomas, who reached base to start the inning on a groundball to third base that Alec Bohm threw wide to first.

The Nationals stole five bases, three of them with Sanchez on the mound. The Reds also went 5-for-5 swiping bags against the Phils on Monday.

"They were just running first move," Thomson said. "It's something we've got to pay attention to. It's something we've got to focus on because most of the time, our offensive power is going to be better than most teams. Our pitching power is going to be better than most other teams' offenses. So we have to control the running game because that's a big part of how teams beat us."

The Phillies, meanwhile, gave outs away on the basepaths. Kyle Schwarber was doubled off of first base when Bryce Harper lined out to medium-deep center field in the third inning, and Schwarber was caught stealing to end the fifth. The Phillies have been caught stealing six times to lead the majors. They've also been thrown out on the basepaths six times in non-stolen-base attempts, which also leads the majors.

"Right now, we're a little out of sorts there," Turner said, "but I know we have an emphasis on it and we're going to work on it, talk about it, fix it and get to where we need to be.

"Know when to pick your spots and know when it's OK to make outs or when you can't afford to give them away. I think everyone is here is different, but just because you're a fast guy, slow or guy or anywhere in the middle, it doesn't mean you can't be a good baserunner. There's plenty of ways to get extra bases."

Left-hander Mackenzie Gore started for the Nationals and gave up two runs over 5⅔ innings after being pounded by the Phillies the last two times he faced them in 2023. Edmundo Sosa accounted for both of the runs, hitting an RBI single in the second and a solo home run in the fifth. He started at second base for Bryson Stott, who was out of the lineup last Sunday, as well, against lefty Chris Sale.

Thomson started Sosa at second, Whit Merrifield in left field and Cristian Pache in center. Stott and Marsh pinch-hit for Sosa and Pache in the top of the eighth and struck out against hard-throwing righty Hunter Harvey.

Turner came close to tying the game in the top of the ninth with a leadoff blast to left field but it was caught against the wall by Jesse Winker.

The Phillies (4-5) are off to St. Louis for their second road series of the season. They should finally have some actual baseball weather on Monday when the forecast is 78 degrees. They played through cold and rain during their season-opening homestand, then dealt with wind and temperatures in the 40s this weekend in D.C.

The Phils have been heavily reliant on pitching through nine games. They'll see a pair of hittable right-handers at Busch Stadium in Miles Mikolas on Monday and Lance Lynn on Wednesday. On Tuesday, they'll see Sonny Gray in his Cardinals debut.

The Phillies have Spencer Turnbull, Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola going in the series. Realmuto will likely have Monday off after starting eight of the first nine games. The Phillies have Turnbull paired up with Garrett Stubbs.

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