PHILADELPHIA -- The Nationals had scored just six runs over three games against the Marlins this past weekend and knew a push towards getting closer in the National League East race would need a boost from their bats. On Monday night, the bats had the power
During their 8-7 victory over Phillies, the Nationals managed to score seven of their runs on home runs. The biggest blow came from Jayson Werth, who broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning with a grand slam against right-hander Aaron Nola. It was Werth's fifth career grand slam. He also hit a solo shot in the 10th that gave him the 12th multi-homer game of his career.
Werth has been one of Washington's hottest hitters at Citizens Bank Park, a place he used to call home. In his last six games at the stadium, Werth is hitting.318 with a 464 on-base percentage and 13 RBIs.
The Nationals' outfielder, who missed a big chunk of the season because of shoulder and wrist problems, wonders what his season and the team's season would have been like if most of the players stayed healthy.
"I look at it as opportunity lost," Werth said. "We had a lot going for us. It's not over by any means, but you get the sense that we let this one slip through our grasp. It's unfortunate. It's hard to swallow."
Anthony Rendon, who had four hits in the game to raise his average to .287, hit the first pitch of the game for a home run and Bryce Harper added a solo shot in the third off Nola, his 37th homer of the year. But it was Harper's diving catch that saved the game in the bottom of the 10th inning.
With runners on first and second, the score tied at 7 and closer Jonathan Papelbon on the mound, Jeff Francoeur hit a fly ball into the right-field corner. Harper made a sliding catch near the side wall to save the winning run from scoring.
"A phenomenal catch. That's a hard position to play right there," Papelbon said. "Every out is huge."
Manager Matt Williams said Harper is getting better in right field because he is getting more experience at the position.
"The more he plays out there, the better off he will be. He is a pretty dynamic player in all aspects. He showed it defensively tonight as well," Williams said."