Harper, Schwarber homer to lift Phillies over Nationals 8-5

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two run home run during the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) ((Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images))

Bryce Harper ended the longest home run drought of his career and Kyle Schwarber hit his 37th homer of the year, tops in the N.L., to help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 8-5 on Saturday night.

Harper homered for the fist time since June 5, a span of 102 plate appearances that also included a two-month stint on the I.L. with a broken thumb. It matched the longest stretch of plate appearances between homers in Harper’s career, originally set in 2014 when he was a member of the Nationals.

Schwarber homered for the first time since Aug. 29 to stay atop the league leaders.

The Phillies (77-62), kept pace in the N.L. wild card race in a three-team race for the the final two wild card spots with San Diego and Milwaukee. The Phillies, who entered play a half-game behind the Padres, and three-and-a-half games ahead of the Brewers, have a tiebreaker advantage on both teams.

Brandon Marsh and Nick Maton also homered for Philadelphia. Marsh finished with a game-high three hits.

Ranger Suarez (9-5) earned the win for the Phillies, throwing 6 2-3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He finished with four strikeouts.

Things got hairy for the Phillies in the ninth inning as the Nationals scored a run and loaded the bases against Connor Brogdon, but the Phillies reliever was able to strike out Nelson Cruz to end the game.

Joey Maneses hit a two-run homer and Lane Thomas had three hits and two RBI for the Nationals (49-91), who lost for the fourth time in the last five games and fell to 2-12 for the season against Philadelphia.

Erick Fedde (6-10) took the loss for the Washington. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in just three-and-two-thirds innings.


Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore, arguably the prize piece of the Juan Soto trade last month, is expected to pitch the third inning Sunday for Triple-A Rochester. Washington manager Dave Martinez said the Nationals would like to get the top prospect’s pitch count up to 75 pitches before he comes off the IL. Gore has been out with left elbow inflammation since before the trade.

Phillies: RHP Seranthony Dominguez will return to the bullpen Sunday and RHP Zach Eflin will join him there Tuesday. Dominguez was the Phillies closer before landing on the IL with triceps tendonitis last month. Eflin was in the starting rotation but will come back as a multi-inning relief option. ... RHP Zack Wheeler is getting closer to returning. He threw 15 pitches off of a mound Saturday. He needs at least two bullpen sessions before returning to the rotation. Interim manager Rob Thomson said that won’t happen until after the team’s upcoming road trip, which ends on Sept. 18.


Nationals RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-5, 4.56 ERA) opposes Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (9-11, 3.35 ERA) in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday.