PHILADELPHIA — Maikel Franco homered with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
J.T. Realmuto also went deep for the Phillies, who avoided a three-game sweep.
Franco drove the first pitch he saw from Matt Grace (0-2), a 93-mph fastball, over the wall in left. It was Franco's 15th homer of the season and second career walkoff.
Hector Neris (2-4), who blew the save in Philadelphia's 4-3 loss to the Nationals on Saturday, struck out the side swinging in the top of the ninth.
Franco was mobbed at home plate by his teammates who haven't done much winning in the last 1 1/2 months. The Phillies improved to 15-23 since leading the NL East by 3 1/2 games on May 29. The entered Sunday trailing the Braves by 8 1/2 in the division and behind both Washington and Milwaukee in the NL wild-card race.
Trea Turner, Matt Adams and Howie Kendrick drove in runs for the Nationals, who lost for just the third time in 15 games.
Washington's pitching staff entered having allowed 102 homers, fewest in the NL and second-fewest in the majors behind Tampa Bay.
Philadelphia went ahead 2-1 in the fifth on Jean Segura's two-out single to right and took a two-run lead in the sixth on Realmuto's opposite-field, leadoff shot to right.
The Nationals tied it in the seventh against right-handed reliever J.D. Hammer. After consecutive one-out walks put runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Kendrick drove in Kurt Suzuki with a single to left before Turner followed with single to right that scored Victor Robles and evened the score at 3.
But Washington wouldn't get another hit, finishing the game with six straight strikeouts swinging.
Phillies starter Jake Arrieta gave up one run and four hits in five innings in his first start since disclosing he's been pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow that will require surgery in the off-season — or sooner.
Nationals right-hander Anibal Sanchez allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
Realmuto extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games with an RBI single in the fourth.
Phillies: RHP Tommy Hunter (right forearm strain) was placed on the 10-day IL after hurting his arm Saturday night. Hunter missed the first three months of the season with a similar injury. RHP Edubray Ramos was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Hunter.
Nationals: RHP Austin Voth (0-0, 5.52) will face Orioles RHP Asher Wojciechowski (0-2, 6.10) on Tuesday night in Baltimore.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (7-8, 3.78) opposes Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 3.09) Monday in the opener of a four-game series.
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