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“You can’t sweep the series if you don’t win the first one!” Phillies 4, Nationals 2

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A late long ball powers the Phils over the Nationals...

Photo via Mark L. Baer / USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies managed to take the early series lead over the Nationals thanks to the late-charged offense, as well as some excellent pitching.

Jerad Eickhoff took on ex-Phillie Jeremy Hellickson to start this one, and both managed to put in solid work, dominating the respective offenses they faced.

The Offense:

The Phillies got to work early on a hot-shot home run by none other than offensive catalyst, Jean Segura, who is now hitting an impressive .345 on the season.

The lead did not last long, however, as Jerad Eickhoff would run into some trouble throughout the 3rd inning, and, eventually, the Nationals answered back on a Howie Kendrick single, scoring Jeremy Hellickson, tying this one up at 1-1.

After that, both offenses fell quiet, and the starting pitching took over.

Jerad Eickhoff and Jeremy Hellickson combined for a total of 16 strikeouts tonight. Eickhoff’s breaking stuff was as good as ever, but his fastball command, one of the keys to his game, was spotty throughout the night. Overall, it was another solid performance from the welcome addition to the Philadelphia rotation.

His final line:

5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K

Seranthony Dominguez came to the bump in relief of Jerad Eickhoff in the 6th after Eickhoff had thrown just 87 pitches. While it is understandable that Gabe Kapler would be conservative with the injury-plagued pitcher, this change proved to be a bit of a misstep, as Kurt Suzuki took Dominguez deep, giving the Nationals the advantage at 2-1.

The Phillies were quick to eclipse this lead though, as Nationals’ manager, Dave Martinez, made a misstep of his own in the bottom of the 6th.

Hellickson gave up a dribbling infield single to Jean Segura, which, in turn, brought Bryce Harper to the plate. Martinez then tugged Hellickson, and replaced him with Dan Jennings, who proceeded to walk Bryce Harper.

And then, with two men on, Rhys Hoskins demolished a hanger from Dan Jennings, capping off the scoring for the night at 4-2 in the Phillies favor.

Adam Morgan stepped to the mound in relief of Seranthony, and tossed his 16th consecutive scoreless inning to start the year — a franchise record. Morgan has been absolutely brilliant thus far, and, of all Phillies pitchers, was the one least predicted to break out — but it’s hard to argue with his 0.00 ERA.

Hector Neris came in at the top of the 9th to close this one out, solidifying this one as a W in the books for the Phightin’ Phils.

Let’s get ‘em again tomorrow. Oh, and the next day, too.

Some notable lines:

Jean Segura: 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, K

Rhys Hoskins: 2-for-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB, SO

Bryce Harper: 1-for-3, 2B, BB