Soto has 2 of Nationals’ 7 homers in 17-7 rout of Phillies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Nationals broke out of their offensive funk in a big way.
Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Brian Goodwin and Mark Reynolds also homered for the Nationals, who set a season high for homers. Washington hadn’t homered while losing its last three, getting outscored 16-3 in those defeats.
”We’re back,” Soto said.
Rendon added two doubles and three RBIs, and Harper also contributed three hits and three RBIs. With his drive, Harper became the first NL batter to reach 20 homers.
”We needed that,” manager Dave Martinez said. ”Bats came alive and they came alive big.”
Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery and Carlos Santana homered for Philadelphia. Kingery was a triple shy of the cycle.
The teams combined for 28 hits, including 16 for extra bases, on a steamy night in Philadelphia with the game-time temperature 90 degrees.
Erick Fedde (1-3) earned his first major league win in his eighth career start, allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings with three strikeouts and three walks.
Nick Pivetta (4-7) continued to struggle against the organization that drafted him. The right-hander was shelled for seven runs on seven hits, including three homers, in 1 2/3 innings to fall to 0-3 with an 11.94 ERA in five career starts against Washington. Pivetta, a fourth-round pick in 2013, finished June 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA in six starts.
Already leading 12-7, Washington sandwiched solo homers from Goodwin and Reynolds around Soto’s second of the night, a three-run shot off Hector Neris in the ninth.
Washington jumped on Pivetta for four runs in the first. Adam Eaton led off with a single and Turner quickly made it 2-0 by sending a 94-mph fastball into the seats in left.
”That sparked everyone,” Martinez said.
It was 4-0 three batters later when Soto also cleared the wall in left with a two-run shot.
Soto said he didn’t put a home run swing on either of his drives.
”I just try to make a good swing,” he said.
Rendon blew the game open in the second with an opposite-field, three-run drive to right that made it 7-0.
Two innings later, Harper’s three-run homer to left off Yacksel Rios put the Nationals ahead 10-0. And it was 11-0 later in the frame after Wilmer Difo’s two-out RBI double to left.
”Everybody had fun,” Soto said. ”I hope we can do the same thing tomorrow. Same plans.”
The biggest Phillies highlight came in the fifth when Hoskins culminated a 14-pitch at-bat with a line-drive homer to left-center. The Philadelphia slugger fouled off eight pitches, including seven in a row with a 3-2 count. It gave him eight homers and 22 RBIs since returning from the DL (broken jaw) on June 9. Hoskins has gone deep in three straight games.
”It was one of the better at-bats I’ve seen,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. ”Really special.”
WALK THIS WAY
Santana had a walk to give him a free pass in six straight games and up his total this month to 27, which is the most for the Phillies in June since Greg Luzinski walked 28 times in 1980.
Nationals: 3B Ryan Zimmerman (oblique) took batting practice on Friday and could begin a rehab assignment as early as Monday. Zimmerman has been out since May 12.
Phillies: Right-handed reliever Pat Neshek, out all season with a right shoulder strain, allowed a run on two hits while striking out the side in one inning during a rehab outing at Double-A Reading on Friday night.
RHP Vince Velasquez (5-8, 4.69) takes the mound for the Phillies in the third game of the four-game set on Saturday afternoon. Washington RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 2.28) is expected to return from the DL. Hellickson has been sidelined since June 4 with a right hamstring strain.