Bryce Harper homered in the first inning and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 7-4 Monday night to stretch their winning streak to four games.
Brad Miller also went deep and Ronald Torreyes added a bases-loaded triple for Philadelphia, which improved to 7-1 at Nationals Park this season.
Carter Kieboom homered for Washington, which has dropped three in a row, five of its last six and 19 of 25.
Harper, who signed a $330 million, 13-year contract with Philadelphia in 2019 after playing his first seven seasons with the Nationals, was booed – as he usually is – in Washington. The sparse crowd was even more frustrated when he golfed Josiah Gray’s curveball into the Nationals’ bullpen for his 26th homer, giving the Phillies a lead they never relinquished.
Harper, who went 2 for 5, is hitting .404 (23 for 57) with seven homers and 12 RBIs in 16 games against Washington this season. His single started a third-inning rally against Gray (0-2) that Torreyes capped with a fly to left that Yadiel Hernandez struggled to judge and caromed off the base of the wall, leading to three runs in the inning.
Gray allowed six runs in four innings, the shortest of his six starts since joining Washington at the trade deadline as part of the prospect haul the Los Angeles Dodgers gave up for All-Stars Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
Zack Wheeler (11-9) pitched six innings for Philadelphia, yielding four runs while striking out four. He slogged through the first three innings, surrendering two runs in the second and Kieboom’s third-inning homer in that stretch. But he set down 10 of the last 11 men he faced.
José Alvarado escaped a two-on, none-out jam in the ninth for his fifth save.
Miller’s solo shot off reliever Patrick Murphy in the fifth was his 13th homer of the season. Miller had three hits and two walks, reaching safely in each of his plate appearances.
Phillies: C J.T. Realmuto, who left Sunday’s game with left ankle soreness, was not in the lineup. Realmuto is also dealing with right shoulder soreness.
Nationals: SS Alcides Escobar fouled a pitch off his left knee in the first inning and left the game.
C Keibert Ruiz made his Washington debut exactly a month after being acquired in the same deal as Gray. Ruiz went 1 for 4, getting his first hit with the Nationals with a bloop single in the eighth.
To make room for Ruiz, Washington optioned C Tres Barrera to Triple-A Rochester. Barrera is hitting .264 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 30 games this season.
Phillies: LHP Matt Moore (2-4, 6.12 ERA) is 1-1 with an 8.00 ERA in three appearances against Washington this season.
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (7-13, 6.09) has allowed an NL-leading 31 home runs this season, including six to the Phillies over 19 innings.
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