Odubel Herrera hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning that gave the visiting Philadelphia Phillies a 2-0 victory over the Washington Nationals in a Thursday afternoon contest at Nationals Park.
The Philadelphia victory stopped the Nationals from sweeping the three-game series. Washington was coming off of an emotional victory Wednesday when Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth gave it an 8-7 victory.
But this game proved to be a battle between right-handed starters Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer — and neither gave up much.
Nola (15-3) won his third in a row and shut down the Nationals after they hit well while winning the first two games of this series. He threw eight shutout innings and gave up five hits while striking out nine and walking just one.
Nola had great command and control, and Washington never figured him out. Pat Neshek came on in the ninth and closed it, earning his fourth save this season.
Scherzer (16-6) did everything he could to help the Nationals. He allowed two runs on just two hits in seven innings, striking out 10 and walking four.
The problem was that one of those hits was the Herrera homer. That snapped Scherzer’s six-game winning streak; he had not lost since July 2.
Neither team did much on offense in the first six innings, which belonged to Nola and Scherzer. Both the Phillies and Nationals each had one real good scoring chance but neither came up with the big hit, and the game was scoreless headed into the seventh.
That’s when the Phillies struck. Maikel Franco drew a one-out walk off of Scherzer, and Herrera then homered to right field on a 1-0 pitch to gave the Phillies the 2-0 lead.
In fact, Philadelphia finished with just three hits.
Washington threatened in the eighth, putting two on with two outs, but Nola fanned Bryce Harper and escaped the jam.
The Nationals needed a sweep of this series to make a big leap back into the National League wild card or even the NL East race.
—Field Level Media