WASHINGTON -- — J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins each hit a two-run double in the ninth inning, and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied for a 7-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.
The Phillies have won five straight overall and moved within one-half game of the NL East-leading New York Mets, who travel to Philadelphia for a three-game series beginning Friday. Philadelphia is three games over .500 for the first time since May 14.
“Can’t wait,” Bryce Harper said about facing the Mets. “I hope that place is rockin’ all the way to the top.”
Realmuto tied the game with his double to the right-center field gap against closer Kyle Finnegan (4-3). Two batters later, Hoskins doubled to left-center to score two more.
“You’ve got to come up with some big hits and have a couple magical moments,” Hoskins said. “I don’t think we’re done with those.”
“We get down early and they don’t panic,” manager Joe Girardi said. “This game’s a grind. It’s tough. You’re going to have your good moments and your bad moments. but each time you walk to the plate or step on that rubber, you have a chance to do something great.”
Washington’s Joe Ross pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowed three earned runs and struck out seven.
Soto singled, doubled and walked twice, and Kieboom doubled, singled and walked. Washington has lost four straight and fell a season-worst 11 games under .500.
Soto made a leaping catch in right field to take a home run away from Didi Gregorius in the seventh after the Phillies got closer on Odúbel Herrera’s RBI single.
Harper homered in the second against his former team, which he has tormented this season.
“This is obviously a big series with the Mets,” Realmuto said. “It’s going to be huge. It’s not everything to us because there’s a lot of season left, but it can be a big momentum builder for the rest of the year.”
COACHES ON THE MEND
Washington’s second COVID-19 outbreak of the season forced a coaching shuffle. Sam Narron stepped in as pitching coach in place of Jim Hickey. Bullpen coach Henry Blanco replaced third base coach Bob Henley. Outfield/baserunning coordinator Gary Thurman coached first base in place of Randy Knorr, and bench coach Tim Bogar was not replaced.
On Sunday, all the members of the coaching staff who tested positive for COVID-19 will be cleared to rejoin the team. They will join the Nationals on their day off Monday in New York before a three-game series with the Mets begins.
Nationals: RHP Kyle McGowin (right biceps fatigue) threw 24 pitches in a live batting practice session on Thursday. McGowin is close to going on a minor-league rehab assignment. He last appeared in a game on July 10.
Phillies: 2B Jean Segura had the day off to rest a sore knee.
Lopez expected to start as White Sox host the Angels
Los Angeles Angels (71-74, fourth in the AL West) vs. Chicago White Sox (83-62, first in the AL Central)
Marquez expected to start for the Rockies against Braves
Colorado Rockies (68-78, fourth in the NL West) vs. Atlanta Braves (76-68, first in the NL East)
Montgomery scheduled to start for New York against Baltimore
New York Yankees (82-64, second in the AL East) vs. Baltimore Orioles (46-99, fifth in the AL East)
Alexander scheduled to start for Tigers at Rays
Detroit Tigers (70-76, third in the AL Central) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (90-56, first in the AL East)
Chicago Cubs to visit the Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs (66-80, fourth in the NL Central) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (73-72, second in the NL East)
Lynch expected to start as Kansas City hosts Oakland
Oakland Athletics (78-67, second in the AL West) vs. Kansas City Royals (66-79, fourth in the AL Central)