Spencer Kieboom hit his first major league home run on the first pitch after losing a tooth, and batterymate Erick Fedde threw 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball Tuesday afternoon, lifting the Washington Nationals to a 3-1 victory over the Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader in Philadelphia.
Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark was scheduled to duel Phillies righty Jake Arrieta in Game 2, with Washington (72-72) having moved within 2 1/2 games of second-place Philadelphia (74-69) in the National League East by virtue of the win in the opener of a series that began with a rainout Monday.
The Nationals also were rained out Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.
Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta (7-12) took a one-hit shutout into the fifth inning of a scoreless game before Kieboom walked to the plate with one out and spit out a tooth that had become dislodged shortly before entering the batter’s box.
The catcher then belted the first pitch he saw the opposite way over the fence in right field for his first homer. The second-year major-leaguer had been homerless in his first 116 plate appearances.
The Nationals added a second run in the inning after Fedde, 0-for-14 in his career at that point, singled to end Pivetta’s day.
After Trea Turner drew a two-out walk, Bryce Harper singled in Fedde to make it 2-0.
Pivetta was charged with two runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out one.
Fedde (2-3) turned a 2-0 lead over to the Washington bullpen after limiting the Phillies to two hits in his 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out a career-high nine.
The win was his first since June 29.
Justin Miller pitched out of a two-on, two-out jam in the sixth, and Greg Holland did the same by striking out pinch hitter Jose Bautista in the eighth, preserving the shutout.
Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, activated off the disabled list over the weekend, allowed a two-out, RBI single to Maikel Franco in the ninth before striking out Jorge Alfaro, the potential tying run, to secure his 23rd save.
The Nationals added a third run in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Ryan Zimmerman.
Kieboom and Juan Soto had two hits apiece for the Nationals, who won their third in a row.
The Phillies were out-hit 10-5 en route to their third straight defeat.
—Field Level Media