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The Nationals’ bullpen then sealed things off with 3 1/3 innings of relief that, while not scoreless, was effective enough for Washington to come away with the win and pull to .500 on the season.

Philadelphia still will be atop the National League East when the Nationals arrive at the ballpark Wednesday afternoon. They’ll still be the so-called gold standard in the division and the league for the Nationals to compare themselves with, and winning one game against them doesn’t change that dramatically, but it’s a step in the right direction if nothing else.

“(Winning) is the only way we’re going to do it,” Werth said. “We’re not going to do it by doing commercials and appearances and charity work. That’s not going to get it done. The only way to change the culture here in Washington, D.C., is to win. That was a big win tonight, but we’ve got to continue to do it. Essentially we’re going to have to win a lot, not just play .500 ball or not finish in last place. We have to win a division or win a wild card. That takes work.

“It’s hard work, but we’ve got the group that I believe can do it if we start adding some pieces here and there.”