- - Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Trea Turner hit a go-ahead grand slam in the last of the sixth inning as the Washington Nationals beat the visiting Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 on Tuesday night to clinch a wild card berth.

The Chicago Cubs lost 9-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, meaning the Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers will play Oct. 1 in the National League Wild Card Game.

It is the first wild card berth in Nationals history, as the first four playoff appearances came with National League East titles in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Howie Kendrick, pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Max Scherzer, drew a walk with two outs to load the bases as the Phillies‘ dugout complained about the call.

Turner followed by lining a shot to left field off reliever Jared Hughes for the second grand slam of his career and his 18th homer of the season.



There was more drama in the top of the seventh as Bryce Harper, who did not start, was used as a pinch-hitter against reliever Hunter Strickland of the Nationals. As a member of the Nationals, Harper was involved in a brawl when Strickland pitched for the San Francisco Giants in 2017. Harper also hit two homers off Strickland in the 2014 playoffs.

On this night, Harper went deep again against Strickland, with his solo shot pulling the Phillies to within 6-5

But Washington right-hander Daniel Hudson, acquired in a trade in late July with Toronto, came on in the ninth and got the last three outs.

Victor Robles caught a liner for the last out in D.C. as Hudson got the save. The celebration began at Navy Yard after the Pirates made their final out against the Cubs; the ending of that game was shown on the outfield video board at Nationals Park.

Scherzer (11-7) gave up a three-run homer to Brad Miller in the first inning and Miller went deep for a solo shot in the fourth to gives the Phillies a 4-1 lead.

The ace right-hander gave up four runs in six innings but struck out 10 batters for the 93rd time in his career.

Washington catcher Yan Gomes hit a solo homer in the third inning to trim the lead to 3-1 against Phillies starter Aaron Nola. Gomes then had a sacrifice fly in the fourth to cut the Phillies advantage to 4-2 against Nola (12-7), who yielded five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Washington won the first game of the twinbill, 4-1, to knock the Phillies out of postseason consideration.

Washington (88-69) has won 12 of 17 games this season against the Phillies but was 2-4 against the Brewers. Milwaukee holds the tiebreaker if the teams end up with the same record and would host the wild card game in that scenario.

The series continues Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. with Anibal Sanchez (10-8, 3.91 ERA) pitching for Washington against lefty Drew Smyly (4-7, 6.44) of the Phillies.

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