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Soto’s homer helps the Nationals slow Phils and avoid a 5-game sweep

WASHINGTON (AP) — Juan Soto hit a three-run homer and the Washington Nationals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-3 on Sunday to avoid a five-game sweep.

Washington ended an eight-game slip and snapped Philadelphia’s seven-game road winning streak.

The Phillies have not won a five-game series since beating the Marlins at home in 2001. Bryce Harper and his crew sought revenge after being swept across five games by Washington in September 2019.

Nats starter Jackson Tetreault (1-1) celebrated his first major league win on his second appearance. The 26-year-old right-hander gave up three unearned runs over seven innings, with two walks, six hits and two strikeouts.

Tetreault was hit in the lower left leg in the seventh by a 105.7 mph comebacker Matt Vierling. Athletic coach Paul Lessard and manager Dave Martinez reviewed Tetreault, who stayed in the game after a lengthy delay. He finished the inning before walking to the dugout with a slight limp.

Soto’s homer on the first pitch and three runs on the second ran counter to his problems with runners this season in goal position. He went into Saturday’s game with a .476 OPS with men in second or third place. Only one of his previous 13 home runs was hit by runners in scoring position.

Maikel Franco’s sixth homer of the season gave Washington an 8-3 lead in the fifth. Washington shortstop Luis García was 3 for 4.

Phillies starter Zach Eflin (2-5) continued to struggle on the road. He lasted just two innings and 38 pitches and allowed four five-hit runs. He has an ERA of 7.27 on the road compared to 1.95 at home.

César Hernandez doubled to meet Yadiel Hernandez and take the Nationals lead to 5-2 in the fourth. Nelson Cruz walked after Philadelphia intentionally led Josh Bell to load bases and put down another run in the fourth heat. Keibert Ruiz flew out to end the inning with bases loaded.

Bryson Stott’s fourth inning single drove in a run to reduce Washington’s lead to 4-2.

Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto hits a three-run home run in the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Washington.

Ruiz’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt allowed Kyle Schwarber to score first and draw Philadelphia to 6-3.

STRANGE-GORDON CONTINUES

The Nationals on Sunday filed for unconditional release waivers for OF Dee Strange-Gordon. Strange-Gordon hit .304 in 59 at-bats for Washington this season but had no walks and just a .356 slugging percentage. He was drafted on June 14 and can now sign with another team.

TRAINING ROOM

Phillies: OF Bryce Harper (Blister) was not in the starting XI for the second year in a row. Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said Harper’s bladder was due to him swinging the bat in the cage. Harper may be available Tuesday when the Phillies open a road series against Texas. IF Johan Camargo (right knee strain) played as the designated hitter for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday. It could be activated on Tuesday.

NEXT

Phillies: Monday is a day off. RHP Kyle Gibson (4-2, 4.04 ERA) opens a two-game road series against Texas on Tuesday.

Nationals: Monday is a rest day. RHP Erick Fedde (4-5, 4.88 ERA) starts a two-game road series in Baltimore Tuesday.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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