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Youngsters step up for Phillies, who host Nationals again

Sportsnaut
Sep 9, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Dalton Guthrie (18) hits an RBI infield single during the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Castellanos remains on the injured list with a strained right oblique. Reigning National League Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper was given the night off.

But the Philadelphia Phillies’ young players elevated their level of play and helped produce a 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

The Phillies (76-62), who hold the third wild-card spot in the National League, will look for another victory over the visiting Nationals (49-90) in the middle game of their three-game series on Saturday evening.

Dalton Guthrie had his first two career hits and two RBIs, Edmundo Sosa remained one of the hottest hitters in the majors with a single and triple, and every player in the lineup had at least one hit.

Sosa’s second hit of the game gave him seven consecutive hits before he grounded into a double play in the seventh inning.

“It was pretty cool,” Guthrie said on a postgame interview on NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Pretty cool atmosphere. That’s what you want to be a part of.”

J.T. Realmuto also contributed in a big way again with three hits, including a home run, and two RBIs for the Phillies. Rhys Hoskins added a home run.

Harper, meanwhile, was given some rare rest. Since returning from being out for two months with a broken left thumb, he has gone 11-for-42 with no home runs.

Harper is expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday.

“Just a day off,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said. “He’s healthy. … It looks like the bat speed is there. I think anybody that comes back from a short rehab stint kind of takes off then plateaus, then maybe fatigue sets in.”

The Phillies will hand the ball to left-hander Ranger Suarez (8-5, 3.52 ERA) on Saturday. Suarez struggled in his most recent outing, against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, as he gave up four hits and three runs in four innings.

Suarez is 4-0 with a 3.04 ERA in 10 career games (three starts) against the Nationals.

Washington will look to rebound after another tough loss in a season filled with them.

Alex Call led the way Friday with a home run and two singles, giving him seven hits in the last two games. Lane Thomas had a triple, single and an RBI, but the Nationals came up short.

“The thing I know about Alex — when he doesn’t chase, he puts the ball in play and hits the ball hard,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He laid off some good pitches. He’s getting in good counts to hit, and he’s hitting the ball hard. He plays aggressive, too. He’s got a lot of energy. I love the way he plays the game.”

The Nationals had two runners on base in the ninth inning, but Riley Adams grounded out to end the game.

Erick Fedde (6-9, 5.08) is scheduled to start for the Nationals on Saturday. The right-hander was impressive in his most recent start, allowing four hits and one run in six innings against the New York Mets on Sunday.

“We’re going to play a lot of teams that are in playoff hunts here coming up,” Fedde said after his last outing, his first victory since June 21. “It’s our job to play spoiler and continue to play good baseball. It’s a lot of fun doing that.”

Fedde is 2-5 with a 5.94 ERA in 11 career games (10 starts) against the Phillies.

Washington’s Keibert Ruiz was placed on the injured list with a testicular contusion, and Israel Pineda was recalled from Triple-A Rochester. The 22-year-old Pineda began the season with High-A Wilmington.

–Field Level Media