PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Stephen Strasburg made all the necessary adjustments.
The right-hander threw six effective innings, Matt Wieters hit a solo homer and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 Monday night.
Strasburg (7-7) gave up two runs and five hits, striking out five to rebound from a rough start against Philadelphia last week in his return from the disabled list.
“So many little things hitters try to pick, so you always have to look at the tendencies,” Strasburg said. “It was progress.”
The Phillies fell 3 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East after losing the opener for the seventh straight series. They’re 6-12 since Aug. 8 and have dropped five games in the standings during that span.
Zach Eflin (9-5) allowed five runs — three earned — and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. His throwing error in the fourth cost him.
The Nationals had the bases loaded with one out that inning when Strasburg put a bunt down. Eflin picked it up barehanded and his underhand toss to the plate sailed high for an error, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Adam Eaton followed with a slow roller to the same spot, and Eflin made the exact same play and got the out at home.
Trea Turner then knocked in another run on a bloop single that fell in because left fielder Rhys Hoskins broke back at first.
“We gave them additional outs and you can’t do that against this team,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.
Eaton greeted reliever Luis Avilan with an RBI double in the sixth to make it 5-2.
Hoskins crushed Ryan Madson’s first pitch in the eighth for his 27th homer.
Justin Miller tossed a perfect ninth for his first save in his first try in his 39th appearance.
“He comes in and brings so much energy on the mound,” Strasburg said. “The hard work pays off.”
Washington took two of three from the Phillies at home last week after trading Daniel Murphy to the Cubs and Matt Adams to the Cardinals.
Down 2-0 in the third, the Phillies tied it on an RBI triple by Roman Quinn and an RBI single by Cesar Hernandez. Strasburg struck out Asdrubal Cabrera swinging to strand runners at second and third.
Eflin retired the first two batters before Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto hit three straight singles in the first to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
Wieters led off the second with his sixth homer to make it 2-0. He said he was using a new bat after realizing the one he used the past few games was cracked.
Strasburg allowed five runs and seven hits over four innings in Washington’s 8-7 win against Philadelphia last Wednesday.
“He was able to locate his fastball, throw a high fastball, and made corrections since the last start,” Wieters said.
BOOING THE BUFFALO
Wilson Ramos was thrown out trying to go first to third on Cabrera’s single to right and heard boos from Phillies fans even though he is playing hurt. Ramos recently returned from a hamstring injury and isn’t healthy enough to do more than jog, but he’s Philadelphia’s cleanup hitter and wants to be in the lineup to help the team chase a playoff spot.
“He’s playing through a lot,” Kapler said. “He’s a guy who gives everything he has and he showed a lot of toughness.”
NEW MAN ON TOP
Quinn led off for the first time and Hernandez batted third for just the third time in 641 career games.
Nationals: RHP Kelvin Herrera was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. Madson took his spot after he was reinstated from the DL.
Phillies: LHP Austin Davis (lower back tightness) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … INF Pedro Florimon (broken right foot) is continuing his rehab in Triple-A. … RHP Jerad Eickhoff (lat strain, finger) is expected to join the team when rosters expand Saturday.
RHP Aaron Nola (15-3, 2.13 ERA) and RHP Max Scherzer (16-6, 2.13) face each other for the second straight outing when the Phillies and Nationals meet Tuesday night. Nola tossed eight innings in Philadelphia’s 2-0 win at Washington last Thursday.
(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)