Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Michael Morse clubbed two homers and drove
in four, helping the Washington Nationals move closer to clinching the NL East
with a 7-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in the rubber match of a three-
game series at Citizens Bank Park.
Bryce Harper hit a solo homer and added an RBI single for the Nationals, who
reduced their magic number for securing the division title to three. Gio
Gonzalez (21-8) overcame a shaky first inning to pitch six frames and become
the major's first 21-game winner.
Tyler Cloyd (2-2) surrendered six runs on six hits in five-plus innings for
Philadelphia, which has been all but eliminated from playoff contention. The
Phillies are six games behind St. Louis for the second wild card spot with six
Harper's first-inning blast staked Gonzalez to an early lead, but the Phillies
jumped on the Cy Young Award candidate for three, two-out runs in the bottom
of the first.
Chase Utley's single kept the inning alive and Gonzalez walked the next two
batters to load the bases for Darin Ruf, who cleared them with a double to
It was all Nationals after Gonzalez's hiccup.
Morse homered to lead off the second and tied the game with a groundout in the
fourth. Harper plated Danny Espinosa with a two-out single in the next inning
and Morse followed Adam LaRoche's leadoff double in the sixth with a home run
to center field.
Eury Perez, who came off the Washington bench to pinch run for Mark DeRosa,
scored on wild pitch in the seventh.
Harper's homer gave him 21 for the season, matching the franchise mark for a
rookie. Espinosa hit 21 last year ... Gonzalez gave up six hits, walked three
and struck out six ... The Phillies concluded the home portion of their
schedule with a 40-41 record. They had finished .500 or better at home in each
of the last 11 seasons.
The Sports Network