By Sam Bush
J.T. Realmuto hit a three-run homer and Jake Arrieta pitched five strong innings as the Phillies beat the Nationals 8-3.
Realmuto’s 9th homer in the third inning off right-hander Erick Fedde bounced up off the top of the right field wall, then fell in the Nationals’ bullpen.
”I didn’t think it was gonna go out,” Phils manager Joe Girardi said. ”That’s where you feel like you got a break. And we kept adding on it.”
Added Realmuto: ”I haven’t had a homer that unique. I thought I got under, but I got lucky.”
Shortstop Trea Turner hit his sixth homer to lead off the first, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, but that was all the Nationals could muster off Arrieta (2-3). The former Cy Young Award winner needed just 54 pitches to breeze through five innings. He struck out only one, but induced three inning-ending double plays.
The last of those came in the fifth, immediately after which a downpour finished Arrieta’s night.
Washington hit into four double plays on the night and was 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
”We just didn’t have any timely hitting,” manager Dave Martinez said
Eaton hit a solo homer in the sixth to pull the Nationals within 4-2, but Philadelphia scored the next inning when Roman Quinn beat Turner’s throw home on Andrew McCutchen’s fielder’s choice grounder. Alec Bohm added an RBI single on the eighth.
”Having an offense that can score four, five, six runs a game puts you in consistent position to win games. …,” Arrieta said. ”Our offense is no issue, especially with some of the additions we made.”
Fedde (1-2) gave up four runs while allowing seven hits and a walk in five innings, and the rain delay also ended his night. He struck out one and has six strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings this season.
Bryce Harper, who won the 2015 NL MVP during a seven-year stint with the Nationals before joining the Phils last season, was 1 for 3 with two intentional walks in his first game against Washington this year.