WASHINGTON (AP) — Andrew Stevenson was still driving toward Nationals Park when Tuesday night’s game against the Phillies began. Thanks to a lengthy rain delay, he got there in plenty of time to help Washington get the win.
Stevenson and Wilmer Difo hit back-to-back home runs in a five-run sixth inning, and Washington rallied past the Phillies 10-4 on Tuesday night, hours after the Nationals traded Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams.
Stevenson, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse earlier in the day, tied the game with his first career homer, a two-run pinch-hit shot to center.
“He got in during the rain delay,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Came to my office and I told him, ‘Hey, congratulations. Happy to have to you. Get your uniform on and get loose. You might be in this ballgame.'”
The 24-year-old Stevenson, who spent time with the Nationals earlier this season and last, left Syracuse by car at around 3 p.m. after getting the word from manager Randy Knorr that he needed to get to Washington and no flight was available.
“(Knorr said) ‘I know you’re gonna be late, but they might need you the second half of the game,'” Stevenson said. “Ended up making it so it turned out pretty good.”
Difo — starting at second base after Murphy was dealt to the Chicago Cubs — followed Stevenson’s homer with a go-ahead shot to right off Victor Arano (1-2).
Ryan Zimmerman hit his 11th homer of the season and doubled for Washington, and Matt Wieters drove in three runs with a pair of singles.
Jimmy Cordero (1-0) pitched one inning for the win.
“I would say that the Nationals have been a dangerous since opening day and they will be a dangerous team until the last game of the season,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “That lineup is really good from top to bottom and they demonstrated that tonight.”
Philadelphia’s Roman Quinn hit his first career home run in a game that was delayed 1:42 by rain in the third inning. Quinn struck out with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth against Wander Suero.
After gambling on the team as constituted by standing pat at the July trade deadline, general manager Mike Rizzo and ownership essentially threw in the towel Tuesday.
For Murphy, the Nationals got Class A infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named or cash. First baseman Adams was sent to St. Louis for $50,000.
Washington dropped two of three to the visiting Miami Marlins during the weekend following a 2-5 road trip.
With the Phillies trailing 1-0 in the sixth Tuesday night, Quinn led off with a home run. After Cesar Hernandez reached on an error, three singles and a groundout made it 4-1.
Washington starter Tanner Roark, who was lifted after the rain delay, pitched three scoreless innings and added an RBI double. He leads MLB pitchers with eight RBIs.
Vince Velasquez threw two innings before and after the delay for Philadelphia, allowing one run.
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To fill the spots created by the departures of Murphy and Adams, the Nationals recalled Stephenson and infielder Adrian Sanchez from Syracuse.
Phillies: C Wilson Ramos, recently returned from the disabled list, was rested after playing Saturday and Sunday. “We have a bit of a slippery, rainy day today and when it comes to Ramos we are really concerned with how we are going to manage his health through the end of the season and into October,” Kapler said.
Nationals: LHP Tommy Milone was placed on the 10-day DL (retroactive to Aug. 20) with left-shoulder soreness and RHP Kelvin Herrera (right rotator cuff impingement) was reinstated from the 10-day DL.
Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-7, 3.90) returns from the DL (cervical nerve impingement) to make his first 2018 start against the Phillies. He’s 10-2 with a 2.22 ERA in 21 career starts against Philadelphia. The Phillies will recall RHP Zach Eflin (9-4, 3.70) from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make the start.
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