Taylor's 8th-inning HR lifts Nats in nightcap

Taylor's 8th-inning HR lifts Nats in nightcap

WASHINGTON -- Michael Taylor hit a two-run homer off the foul pole in left field in the eighth inning to fend off another Phillies comeback and lead the Nationals to a 6-5 victory in the nightcap of Sunday's doubleheader.

Philadelphia had beaten Washington in the first game Sunday thanks to a three-run ninth inning and took the lead in the second game in the eighth thanks to a two-run triple from Freddy Galvis. But Taylor helped out a struggling Nats bullpen with the homer off right-hander Pat Neshek.

"It felt good," Taylor said. "It was tough to lose that first one. We had it, but it's going to happen. And to get that second game, you don't want to lose both games of a doubleheader, so to split that, that was big."

Right-hander Matt Albers secured the save with a scoreless ninth.

Albers locks down save

"No drama," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "We like that. The manager loves that. We'll get it straight."

Max Scherzer survived an injury scare in the fourth inning to throw six innings of three-run ball with eight strikeouts. Bryce Harper collected three hits and drove in a pair for Washington, and Brian Goodwin came through with a pinch-hit RBI double in the sixth.

Harper's RBI double

But the Phillies continued to be a thorn in the side of the defending division champs. This doubleheader was the final meeting between the two clubs until September, with the Nats holding a 7-5 series lead after 12 hard-fought matchups.

"It was seesaw, up and down, and back and forth," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "The guys battled. Once again, I'm a broken record, but our guys, they don't quit. They just kept coming after them."

Galvis' go-ahead two-run triple

Taylor to the rescue: Just when it looked like the Nats would suffer a second consecutive late-inning collapse, Taylor bailed them out. Down 4-3 in the eighth, the 26-year-old outfielder's home run, his second of the season, was a 364-foot moonshot to left field. Per Statcast™, the ball left the bat at 99 mph and went as high as 98 feet before hitting the foul pole.

"I was kind of worried for a second, it looked like it was tailing foul," Taylor said. "Actually couldn't really tell if it hit, but I was happy with the result."

The blast represented the first runs Neshek has allowed all season.

"It was a backup slider," Neshek said. "Terrible pitch, he was looking for it. I was hoping it would go foul. [Taylor] was looking to do that, so you tip your cap."

Scherzer rebounds, throws immaculate inning: In the fourth, Scherzer was drilled on the left knee by a 100-mph line drive off the bat of Michael Saunders. After Scherzer lingered on the ground in pain, he eventually tossed a few warmup pitches and stayed in the game.

Scherzer hit by comebacker

"As soon as I started walking around, it's not broke, but it really hurt," Scherzer said. "I just needed to catch my breath, and let everything kind of relax. Once everything relaxed, I was able to stand up. I could really put my weight on it. I got on the mound and really tested my warmup pitches to make sure I could really get into that knee."

Then in the fifth, Scherzer shook off any injury concerns by striking out Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr swinging on a total of nine pitches. It was the first time Scherzer accomplished the rare feat and only the second immaculate inning in Nationals history, joining Jordan Zimmermann (May 6, 2011), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"I didn't realize it until I went back into the video room and they were like did you know?" he said. "That was the first time I had done that, so that was pretty sweet." More >

Scherzer battles against Phils

In the fourth inning, the Phillies used a challenge to claim that Altherr was hit by a pitch. After a 34-second review, the ruling on the field was overturned and the Phillies were not docked their challenge.

Altherr hit by pitch

Mackanin would challenge again in the ninth, when Hernandez was called out at first on a close play after Nats first baseman Ryan Zimmerman had to scoop a one-hop throw from Daniel Murphy. The call on the field was confirmed after a 58-second review.

Hernandez out at first

Phillies: After a scheduled day off, the Phillies will face the Rangers in Arlington on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. ET. The Phillies send out Jerad Eickhoff, looking for his first win of the season, to square off against Yu Darvish.

Nationals: After an off-day, the Nationals begin a six-game road trip starting Tuesday night against the Pirates at PNC Park. Stephen Strasburg (3-1, 3.28 ERA) will take the mound after giving up a season-high five runs in six innings in his last start.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Daniel Shiferaw is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Phillies on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.