PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jayson Werth and the Nationals would feel better about their latest win if they still were in a pennant chase.
Werth hit two homers and drove in five runs, and Yunel Escobar had the game-winning RBI in the 11th inning to lift the Washington Nationals to an 8-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.
Anthony Rendon homered and had four hits, and Bryce Harper also homered for the Nationals, who remained 9 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets in the NL East. It was Washington’s second straight win after snapping a five-game losing streak on Sunday.
“There’s a sense of too little, too late,” Werth said. “Anything can happen, of course, but it’s been a tough go.”
Pinch-hitter Danny Espinosa led off the 11th with a walk, moved to second on Cameron Rupp’s passed ball and went to third on Rendon’s single. Espinosa then scored on Escobar’s high chopper to second base off Luis Garcia (3-5).
“Good, hard-fought win,” Washington manager Matt Williams said. “We kept grinding.”
The groundout made a winner of Jonathan Papelbon (4-2), who blew his first save of the season by allowing Freddy Galvis’ solo homer in the 10th.
“Hanging split right down the middle,” Papelbon said.
Ryan Howard and Cody Asche also homered for Philadelphia.
The Nationals went ahead 7-6 in the 10th when Werth launched a 3-1 pitch deep into the seats in left off Dalier Hinojosa with one out for his 12th career multihomer game.
But Philadelphia tied it in the bottom half off Papelbon, who converted all 17 of his chances with the Phillies and each of his six with the Nationals after being traded to Washington on July 28.
Prior to the game, Papelbon made critical comments about his former teammates, telling reporters that “I was one of the few that wanted to actually win and I was one of the few that competed and posted up every day.”
Williams wouldn’t comment on whether Papelbon’s remarks might have had a negative effect on his performance, and the pitcher said they didn’t. But the Phillies used them as motivation.
Asked if there was extra satisfaction for Galvis homering off Papelbon, Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said, “I’m sure there was.”
Papelbon had been critical of the Phillies several times this season while a member of the club and made it clear he wanted out of Philadelphia.
“I think for sure, 100 percent,” Asche said when asked if there was extra motivation against Papelbon.
Doug Fister pitched a scoreless 11th for the first save of his career.
Werth’s grand slam to left in the fifth gave Washington a 6-2 lead. But the Phillies answered with four runs on four hits in the sixth, highlighted by Asche’s three-run shot to deep right-center field.
Starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed six runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk for Washington.
Phillies rookie Aaron Nola gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings while setting career-highs for strikeouts (eight) and home runs allowed (three).
FEELING AT HOME
Werth, a member of the Phillies’ 2008 championship team, is batting .318 with 13 RBIs in his last six games at Citizens Bank Park.
Nationals: INF Ryan Zimmerman (left oblique) was out of the lineup for the sixth straight game.
Phillies: INF Cesar Hernandez was placed on the 60-day DL, ending his season, after dislocating his left thumb in a collision at first base with Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo on Sunday. … Howard departed following the seventh inning after he took a ball off his left knee while trying to field Galvis’ throw from shortstop. … Aaron Altherr left the game in the 10th with a right forearm contusion after being hit by a pitch.
Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (8-7, 4.30) faces Phillies RHP David Buchanan (2-8, 9.11) in the second game of the three-game set on Tuesday night. In two career starts against Washington, Buchanan has allowed 10 runs on 16 hits in 11 innings.
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