PHILADELPHIA CREAM –Starlin Castro got a two-run go-ahead against closest Hector Neris in the ninth inning and the Washington Nationals rallied three times to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 13-12 on Wednesday.
It was the first game in major league history with a grand slam and a three-run homerun for each team.
Josh Bell responded to Andrew McCutchen’s slam with one of his own as the Nationals overcame deficits of 5-0, 9-5 and 12-11.
Kyle Schwarber hit the Washington home run by three runs and Travis Jankowski netted one for Philadelphia. Bryce Harper has also logged in for the Phillies.
Both clubs let their sticks do the talking after Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo called Phillies manager Joe Girardi a “crook” for asking referees to check Max Scherzer for illegal substances in the game. Tuesday evening.
Phillies president Dave Dombrowski defended his manager, saying Rizzo’s comment was “totally inappropriate.”
After Ronald Torreyes gave the Phillies a 12-11 lead in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single, Neris allowed back-to-back singles for Bell and Josh Harrison to start the ninth and Alex Avila’s sacrifice moved the runners up.
Castro then lined up a single down the center to give Washington the lead as Neris (1-4) missed his fifth save in 15 tries.
Paolo Espino threw in the ninth for his first career save after Tanner Rainey (1-2) got the last two strikeouts in the eighth.
The Phillies pounced on Nationals starter Erick Fedde, who pitched 21 straight scoreless innings before Jankowski crushed his first home run since Sept. 26, 2018, in the second.
But Philadelphia’s Vince Velasquez, who put out the first 10 batters before Trea Turner lined up a double with a putout in the fourth, couldn’t pass the fifth.
The Nationals scored five points against Velasquez and Archie Bradley in the fifth and six more against Sam Coonrod and David Hale in the sixth.
Schwarber, who struck out his first two batting hits, smashed a 0-1 pitch against Bradley in the opposite direction for his 19th homerun and 10th in 12 games.
Coonrod ran on loaded bases and struck out two batters before giving way to Hale. Trea Turner hit a two-run single to reduce it to 9-7. After Juan Soto walked to charge the bases again, Bell detonated one in the opposite direction to center-left for an 11-9 lead.
Jankowski was 3 for 4 with a step, falling three times short of the cycle. The long-haired southpaw circled the bases in the second and put on the Phillies straw hat worn by players who hit home runs.
Harper’s 10 home runs were solo shots, tying the team record for most home runs with no one on base to start the season. Fred Luderus had already done it in 1914. Felipe Alou’s 17 solo home runs to start the season in 1966 are a major league record.
Nationals: Fedde allowed five runs and six hits in four innings.
Phillies: Velasquez had four runs and three hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Phillies: McCutchen was out of the starting lineup with knee pain, but entered as a pinch hitter in the fifth.
Nationals: RHP Joe Ross (3-7, 4.54 ERA) opens game one of a four-game series in Miami on Thursday night.
Phillies: After a day off, RHP Aaron Nola (5-4, 4.22) kicks off Game 1 of a doubles program for the New York Mets on Friday. The team has not announced who will start the second game.
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