NATS SINK 9 BELOW .500 AS PHILS NOLA SHUTS THEIR LIGHTS OUT!

By Sam Bush and the Associated Press

Aaron Nola pitched two-hit ball over eight innings, Andrew McCutchen and Alec Bohm homered as the Phils pasted the Nationals 6-0.

Nola (4-2) threw 113 pitches in his latest dominant outing before he yielded to Hector Neris for the ninth. Nola has yet to pitch a complete game in 134 career starts dating to his debut in 2015. He struck out nine and allowed two or fewer runs for the fifth time this season.

The Phillies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011 — they went a combined 93-123 in September from 2012-19.

”I don’t personally feel like we’re even hot,” McCutchen said. ”We’re getting there. I’m feeling like this month for us is going to be a big month.”

Bohm’s solo shot to left field for his second homer of the season and J.T. Realmuto’s RBI single off Washington starter Patrick Corbin (2-3) gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the fifth.

The Phillies caught a pair of breaks in the sixth to bust the game open. Nationals second baseman Luis Garcia bobbled a hard-hit grounder that cost them a 4-6-3 double play. Bohm followed with a shot to left-center that sent Didi Gregorius scurrying around third – and perhaps misreading the stop sign for Jay Bruce charging behind – stumbling on the grass. Gregorius recovered and slid head-first into home for a 3-0 lead.

McCutchen belted a three-run shot off Kyle Finnegan to make it 6-0.

The Phillies have won 11 of 17 games to move a game over .500 (16-15) for the first time this season and remain in an NL playoff spot. Nola has two starts this year in which he tossed at least eight innings and allowed two hits or fewer. He’s pitched into the eighth inning 14 times.

”These are always fun games,” Nola said.

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