Hot Nationals face Phillies with Rendon coming off DL

WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals are rolling and they are expecting to welcome back a big piece of their offense when they host the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon, who missed 19 games after fouling a pitch off his left big toe, completed a brief rehab stint Friday night and should be in the lineup.

Rendon joins a team that won its sixth straight game Friday night, 7-3 behind two home runs from leadoff hitter Bryce Harper and one from Matt Adams.

Harper has four homers in four games atop the lineup, but manager Dave Martinez wouldn’t commit to keeping him there.

“We’ll see. I’ve got to sleep on it,” Martinez said. “The good news is we’re getting Rendon back, and that’s good to see.”

Harper lined an opposite field homer off Nick Pivetta (1-2) in the first inning and a 473-foot blast to center with a man on in the second.

“It’s not how far. It’s how many,” said Harper, who now has 12 this season.

Gio Gonzalez (4-2) had another strong outing, coming back after a 39-minute rain delay to complete a five-inning scoreless effort.

With No. 9 hitter Wilmer Difo getting on base in front of him and Trea Turner and Matt Adams — who has four homers this week — hitting behind him, Harper is getting pitches to hit.

“Between Harper and Adams, there’s a lot clicking right now,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “Turner’s a really good player. Just ran into the top five or six dudes in the lineup swinging the bat really well and clicking at the beginning of the game.”

Pivetta allowed six runs in one inning plus three batters.

Philadelphia right-hander Vince Velasquez (1-4, 5.70) opposes righty Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.55) on Saturday.

Roark went seven innings in his last start, a win over the Pirates. After Corey Dickerson’s homer pulled Pittsburgh within one, Roark retired the next two batters. With Roark topping 100 pitches, Martinez came out to check on him. Roark stayed in the game and struck out Jordy Mercer.

“Brings confidence to you,” Roark told MLB.com. “I think the first pitch I threw was the hardest pitch I threw that night. I don’t know, it was just confidence that they have in us, gives us a boost.”

Roark is 6-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 17 games — 15 starts — against the Phillies.

Odubel Herrera, who extended his on-base streak to 33 games Friday night, is 13-for-29 (.448) against Roark, Cesar Hernandez is 7-for-26 and Maikel Franco is 5-for-22.

Velasquez allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings in Sunday’s 10-1 loss to the Braves. He has given up four home runs and 11 runs in 8 2/3 innings over his last two starts.

Velasquez’s velocity was down against the Braves.

“I’m not sure,” Kapler told MLB.com about Velasquez’s drop in speed. “He attacked. We asked him to go out there and attack. He did attack with all of his pitches. He just didn’t have his best stuff.”

Velasquez is 1-2 with a 6.14 ERA in four starts versus the Nationals.

Howie Kendrick is 4-for-5 against Velazquez with two homers and five RBIs. Harper is 5-for-6 with five RBIs, Ryan Zimmerman is 4-for-9 and Rendon is 1-for-10.