WASHINGTON — After watching Rhys Hoskins hit yet another home run, Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin wanted to talk about an at-bat where the rookie didn’t even swing.
Hoskins went deep and drew three walks, Maikel Franco hit his 20th home run and the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Saturday night.
One of Hoskins’ walks came with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and produced what proved to be the winning run after Washington rallied from a 5-1 deficit. Facing reliever Sammy Solis, Hoskins worked a six-pitch walk without taking a swing.
“You could tell, and we talk about his plate discipline, he’ll take a walk with the bases loaded rather than try to hit a grand slam,” Mackanin said. “If it comes up, he gets the right pitch, he can do that also.”
Hoskins hit his 14th homer in 30 games since making his major league debut on Aug. 10, and Franco went long two batters later in the second inning. Cesar Hernandez added three hits for the Phillies.
Edwin Jackson (5-5) allowed both homers while pitching on his 34th birthday and was charged with five runs in 3 1/3 innings.
“(The) bullpen comes in and shuts the game down and allows us to be able to come back in the game,” Jackson said. “We fought. But I still feel like if I go out and I do my job and I keep the game close that it’s a different situation. “
Washington’s magic number to clinch the NL East dropped to two when Miami lost to Atlanta. The Nationals can clinch the division with a win and a Marlins loss Sunday, but manager Dusty Baker said he’ll stick with his plan to rest his starters for a day.
“We’ve got some young players that are going to play tomorrow,” Baker said. “Twenty-one games in 20 days – these guys need a blow and tomorrow is the perfect time to give them one.”
Mark Leiter Jr. (3-5) allowed four runs and six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out eight.
Luis Garcia struck out Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon in the eighth, and Hector Neris pitched the ninth for his 20th save, working around a leadoff walk.
“Garcia just cut right through the middle of their lineup,” Mackanin said. “Outstanding performance.”
Odubel Herrera was 0 for 4 and ended his hitting streak at 21 games, the longest in the majors this season.
Michael A. Taylor had a two-run homer, an RBI single and a walk for Washington, and Howie Kendrick added a solo shot and a single.
The Nationals, who had won five straight, began the night five games behind the slumping Dodgers for the best record in the National League. The teams meet for three games next weekend at Nationals Park.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You don’t eat money like Popeye eats spinach and get strength,” Baker on people who say players get paid too much to be tired.
Franco became the second Phillies player to reach 20 homers this season after Tommy Joseph (21). Franco has a team-high nine homers that have either tied the game or given Philadelphia the lead this season.
Nationals: Baker said OF Jayson Werth (shoulder) won’t return to the lineup until Tuesday at the earliest.
Phillies: Rookie RHP Ben Lively (3-5, 3.92 ERA) faces the Nationals for the first time.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (12-4, 2.78 ERA) battled a leg cramp in his last start, but extended his scoreless innings streak to 26 by going six in a win over Miami. Strasburg is 9-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 20 career starts versus the Phillies.
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