Murphy’s hitting helps Nationals to Phillies win

Daniel Murphy delivered again for the Washington Nationals as they secured a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Murphy hit an opposite-field double to score Bryce Harper in the 10th inning, as Washington won their third in four.

“You don’t take him for granted,” said manager Dusty Baker.

“You realise this guy is one of the best hitters in the world. That hit to left really doesn’t surprise me because that is his bread and butter.

“This is how he made his living prior to him hitting the ball out of the ballpark in the (2015) playoffs until today. When a guy goes to the opposite field with authority, that’s hard to teach.”

Harper opened the 10th with a single off Jeanmar Gomez (1-1), then made it home on Murphy’s double into the left field corner.

“I was trying to score,” Harper said. “You don’t want to play extras. It’s tough trying to go out there. Those extra innings, you don’t want to do that to your bullpen.”

Gomez (1-1) – who was removed from the closer’s role this week after earning 37 saves last season – threw a scoreless ninth before Washington broke through. Gomez has allowed seven runs in five 1-3 innings this month.

“We go 10 or 12 innings, now are we going to run out of pitching,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “That’s his job now to give us multiple innings.”

Murphy extended his hitting streak to 10 games, capping a two for five day with the game-winning hit.

“It’s just tough,” said Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp.

“It’s one of those things where you made the pitch and got to tip your hat to Murph. He’s a good hitter.”

Phillies starter Aaron Nola allowed a run and six hits in five innings while striking out six. The right-hander has not surrendered a home run in his last five starts dating to last season.

Nola handed the bullpen a 2-1 lead, but the Nationals tied it on Anthony Rendon’s RBI double off Edubray Ramos in the seventh.


Washington’s Stephen Strasburg also got a no-decision after yielding two runs and striking out eight in seven innings. Baker considered going to the bullpen with Strasburg at 98 pitches through six but stuck with the right-hander.

“It wasn’t an easy decision but it was the right decision,” Baker said.


First baseman Tommy Joseph, who hit 21 home runs as a Phillies rookie last year, delivered his first of the year in the second inning. He was just three for 25 entering the game.


Phillies: With RHP Clay Buchholz sidelined with a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass, Mackanin said the team’s four other starters will remain on schedule. Philadelphia does not need a fifth starter until April 22.
Nationals: Baker said SS Trea Turner, who was put on the disabled list Monday with a right hamstring strain, has resumed hitting in addition to receiving treatment.

“I think he caught it himself before he did some real damage to it,” Baker said.


Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 0.90 ERA), who pitched five scoreless innings against Washington on Sunday, makes his second start in a row against the Nationals.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (2-0, 4.09) looks to maintain his dominance of Philadelphia. He was 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA in five starts against the Phillies in 2016.

Other MLB results on Friday:

Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 Chicago Cubs
St Louis Cardinals 3-4 New York Yankees
Milwaukee Brewers 10-4 Cincinnati Reds
Baltimore Orioles 6-4 Toronto Blue Jays
Detroit Tigers 7-6 Cleveland Indians
San Diego Padres 2-5 Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles Angels 1-7 Kansas City Royals
Arizona Diamondbacks 1-7 Los Angeles Dodgers
Colorado Rockies 2-8 San Francisco Giants
Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 Boston Red Sox
New York Mets 2-3 Miami Marlins
Chicago White Sox 2-1 Minnesota Twins
Houston Astros 7-2 Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers 1-2 Seattle Mariners