Jorge Alfaro and Aaron Altherr delivered RBI doubles on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning Saturday night for the host Philadelphia Phillies, who survived the early loss of starting pitcher Vince Velasquez to edge the Washington Nationals, 3-2, at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies have won three of their last four. The Nationals have lost four of their last five and six of their last eight.
The Phillies trailed 1-0 when their hopes of winning appeared to take a literal hit in the second inning, when the right-handed Velasquez was hit on the right arm by a comebacker off the bat of Adam Eaton.
Remarkably, Velasquez raced over, picked up the ball with his left hand and threw out the speedy Eaton to end the inning and keep Spencer Kieboom from scoring from third.
Velasquez then fell to the ground in obvious agony, though he was able to walk off the field with a trainer. The Phillies announced Velasquez, who allowed a run on three hits and one walk while striking out three, suffered a contusion on his right arm.
He was replaced to start the third inning by Victor Arano (1-0), who allowed one hit over two scoreless innings and earned the win thanks to the Phillies scoring once in the third and twice in the fourth against Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson (2-1).
Odubel Herrera homered in the third before the Phillies took the lead with a two-out rally in the fourth, when they hit three doubles on as many pitches. Jesmuel Valentin started the outburst and scored on the hit by Alfaro. Altherr, pinch-hitting for Arano, followed with the go-ahead double.
The Nationals got to within 3-2 on Anthony Rendon’s sixth-inning homer off Tommy Hunter, but Adam Morgan, Yacksel Rios and Seranthony Dominguez combined to allow two hits over the final three innings, with Dominguez earning his seventh save following a one-hit ninth.
Valentin and Rendon had two hits each.
Hellickson allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four over 4 2/3 innings.
—Field Level Media