Matt Vierling drove in three runs with a homer and a triple, and the Philadelphia Phillies responded to an earlier loss with a vengeance in an 8-2 romp over the host Washington Nationals to split their doubleheader Saturday.
Kyle Schwarber belted the second pitch of the first and fourth innings for home runs for Philadelphia.
Luke Voit, Joey Meneses and Luis Garcia hit homers in the opener, helping the Nationals run off to a 13-4 win.
The split gave the Phillies (85-73) a one-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in their duel for the third and final National League wild-card spot. The Brewers lost to the Miami Marlins 4-3 later Saturday night.
The Phillies jumped on the Nationals for all eight of their runs in the first four innings, including a five-run third that opened a 7-0 lead.
Philadelphia pulled away in the third behind a two-run homer by Alec Bohm, his 13th, a solo shot by Brandon Marsh, his 11th and a two-run blast by Vierling, his sixth.
Schwarber’s first homer and Vierling’s RBI triple had given the Phillies their 2-0 lead with single tallies in the first and second innings.
Schwarber capped the Phillies’ scoring with his second solo shot in the fourth, giving him 44 homers for the season. The multiple-homer game was his seventh of the year, breaking a tie with Shohei Ohtani for second most this season to Aaron Judge’s 11.
Washington starter Tommy Romero (1-1) was pulled after 3 2/3 innings, charged with all eight runs (six earned) on eight hits. He walked four and struck out two.
Noah Syndergaard (10-10) benefitted from the massive offensive support, coasting through 5 2/3 shutout innings in his first start in 10 days. He allowed two hits and two walks in his 78-pitch effort, striking out three.
The Phillies took a shutout into the ninth before Garcia doubled home Josh Palacios, who had singled to open the inning. Garcia eventually came around to score on an RBI infield out by Ildemaro Vargas.
Schwarber finished with three hits for the Phillies, who won for just the second time in their last eight games. Jean Segura scored twice.
Cesar Hernandez had two singles for the Nationals (55-103), whose loss was their 15th in 18 head-to-heads with the Phillies this season.
–Field Level Media