Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Culture | By Ray Hoffman

Hernandez 2-run homer lifts Phillies over Nats 4-2

Hernandez 2-run homer lifts Phillies over Nats 4-2

The Tigers won two of three games from the slumping Indians, who went 2-4 on their season-opening homestand.

Jeanmar Gomez had survived pitching through the ninth inning Friday night at Nationals Park, which is something he used to know how to do with a fair amount of regularity before his closing skills evaporated. Roark won 16 games as a starter past year and 15 in 2014 in his first full season in the majors.

Baseball can be that way. "He makes great plays nearly every night".

The problem is that the Phils aren't really taking advantage of that.

WHITE SOX 3, TWINS 1: Avisail Garcia had a career-high four hits, including an opposite-field, two-run homer in the 10th inning that led Chicago in Minneapolis. The bullpen struggles and defensive miscues continued on Sunday, but fortunately did not end up costing them the game. Even if they did go 2-1 the previous weekend against Washington, the image was clear: There were the Phillies - young in some places, new in others, forever unsure of their baseball status - stranded on the wrong side of the division's velvet ropes, cramming their rejected ID cards back into their wallets.

Almost every Washington regular has hit well early on - except for third baseman Anthony Rendon, who is hitting.133 in 30 at-bats.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Nationals are -160 money line favorites to beat the Phillies, who have odds of +144 to pull off the upset in D.C. With Jerad Eickhoff set to face Gio Gonzalez in the pitching matchup, the over/under now sits at 8.5 runs. Wasted chances are wasted chances.

Rookie J.T. Riddle hit a two-run homer with two outs as the Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets 4-2, while defending champions the Chicago Cubs suffered a 6-1 loss and a series sweep to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"After what he did for us a year ago and he's healthy, he's the guy we want", Mackanin said after Sunday's game.

"Benoit is tough, he's got that devastating changeup he throws and I thought he was going to throw it right there, 3-2, but he left the ball up". It's a heavy word. "But we just couldn't hold the lead in the ninth inning". In the eighth, Glover came in with one out and a man on second to take over for starter Gio Gonzalez, who had exited the game after the Phillies cut it to 3-2 with the help of a fielding error in left field. The law of averages might suggest a correction; the law of talent does not.

"The base hit in the ninth inning goes to show you he wasn't trying to tie the game up with one swing of the bat", Phillies manager Pete Mackanin told reporters.

PHILLIES KEY TRENDS: The Phillies have dropped 12 of their last 15 road games, are 1-4 in their last five games overall, and are 2-5 in Eickhoff's last seven starts. I didn't want to dive. "Those guys will come around". Our hitters will come around.

Mitch Haniger walked against Sam Dyson (0-3) with the bases loaded and Cruz hit a sharp bases-loaded grounder up the middle. "It's just a matter of time". So we've got more than half of April to go. The play at first was reviewed and the Phillies lost the challenge after a delay of 100 seconds. "It got mostly bone you could say". "I think he caught it himself before he did some real damage to it", Baker said. "Walks seem to score when we issue them". The right-hander has not surrendered a home run in his last five starts dating to last season.

It's a big number to lay, so we'll lay the run line with the Nats to knock down the juice. We've got to tighten our defense, and we've got to tighten our entire game up. "They did a good job again".

Benoit had faced Harper five times and beaten him five times, including twice earlier this season.

It's early, but already that much has been revealed.

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