Taylor's inside-the-park slam lifts Nats over Phillies 11-10
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael A. Taylor raced for an inside-the-park grand slam when center fielder Odubel Herrera misplayed his line drive, and the Washington Nationals moved closer to a second straight NL East title with an 11-10 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Herrera misread Taylor's hit off Jake Thompson (1-2) in the third inning, taking a few steps in before leaping as the ball soared over his head. Herrera chased the rolling ball down on the warning track and threw to the infield, but shortstop J.P. Crawford missed up the third-base line with his relay, allowing Taylor to slide home safely.
It was the first-inside-the-park grand slam in the majors since Philadelphia's Aaron Altherr on Sept. 25, 2015, at Washington.
Taylor's homer was the second inside-the-park grand slam in Montreal Expos/Nationals history. Bombo Rivera had one as an Expo on June 26, 1976, a home run that coincidentally scored current Phillies manager Pete Mackanin from second.
Taylor set a career high with five RBIs and matched a personal best with four hits. Trea Turner homered and drove in three, and Max Scherzer (14-5) allowed four runs over six innings.
Washington has won five straight and reduced its magic number for winning the division to three.
Maikel Franco's three-run homer off Shawn Kelley in the ninth pulled the Phillies within a run, but Sean Doolittle struck out all three hitters he faced for his 17th save in 17 tries with Washington.
Nick Williams and Rhys Hoskins also homered for Philadelphia, which has lost 21 of its last 27 games against Washington.
Scherzer struggled in the first inning, issuing back-to-back walks to Herrera and Hoskins and before Williams belted an 0-1 offering to right-center. But almost immediately, the Nationals chipped away at the deficit.
Ryan Zimmerman had an RBI single in the first and Turner added one in the second, and the Nationals loaded the bases on two walks and an error on a fielder's choice to set up Taylor's slam.
Scherzer allowed four runs for just the fourth time in 27 starts, but he struck out seven and improved to 6-0 over his last 13 outings.
Herrera's infield single in the seventh extended his hitting streak to 21 games, the longest in the majors this season.
Thompson allowed seven runs (five earned), seven hits and two walks in five innings.
Phillies: SS Freddy Galvis was out of the lineup for the first time this season, ending his streak of 140 consecutive starts. He popped out as a pinch hitter in the sixth. .. Mackanin said Altherr (right hamstring strain) was available to pinch hit. Altherr has not played since he was activated from the disabled list Monday.
Nationals: Washington recalled INF Adrian Sanchez from Triple-A Syracuse. Sanchez is hitting .294 with no home runs and 7 RBIs for Washington this season.
Phillies: RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (2-5, 4.74 ERA) starts against Washington for the first time. Leiter threw two scoreless relief innings against the Nationals earlier this year.
Nationals: RHP Edwin Jackson (5-4, 3.29 ERA), who has won his last three starts at home, gets the nod in the third game of the four-game series.
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