EditorsNote: update 2: changes to “its” in second graf
Trea Turner hit a sixth-inning grand slam, and the Washington Nationals rallied past the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 on Tuesday night, sweeping a doubleheader and clinching a National League playoff berth.
Washington (88-69) entered the nightcap with its magic number at two.
When Daniel Hudson retired the Phillies (79-78) in the ninth for his second save of the day, the Nationals stayed on the field. Minutes later, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs 9-2, and Washington was celebrating being back in the playoffs after a one-year absence.
The Nationals began the season 19-31.
Yan Gomes also homered for the Nationals, who lead the Milwaukee Brewers by one game for home-field advantage in the wild-card game.
Turner had three hits in the first game, a 4-1 Washington win. The Phillies were eliminated from playoff contention with the defeat in the opener.
The Nationals entered the sixth inning trailing 4-2, but Asdrubal Cabrera led off with a walk, and Victor Robles singled with one out.
After Gomes struck out, Howie Kendrick walked to load the bases, and Phillies starter Aaron Nola was lifted in favor of Jared Hughes. Turner got under an 0-1 sinker and lifted it into the Phillies bullpen for his 18th homer of the season and second career grand slam, earning a curtain call from the Nationals Park crowd.
Washington starter Max Scherzer (11-7) allowed four runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out 10 and walked one.
Philadelphia’s Brad Miller homered twice off Scherzer, and Bryce Harper connected for his 34th of the season off Hunter Strickland, whom he fought after being hit by a pitch in 2017, while Strickland was with the Giants.
Nola (12-7) was charged with five runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked four.
The Phillies jumped on Scherzer in the first with Miller hitting a three-run shot to center.
Gomes’ solo shot in the third made it 3-1, but Miller homered leading off the fourth, his 10th of the season and third of his career off Scherzer.
Washington got the run back in the bottom half on a Gomes sacrifice fly.
Harper’s pinch-hit solo shot pulled the Phillies within 6-5 in the seventh.
—Field Level Media