Realmuto stays hot; Phillies beat Nationals in opener

Realmuto blast powers Phillies
The Phillies opened a pivotal three-game set in Washington on Tuesday night with an impressive 8-3 victory over the World Series champion Nationals at Nationals Park.

The victory was the second in a row for the Phils and pushed their record to 11-14 on the season.

The Nationals jumped ahead with a run in the opening frame, but the Phils answered with four runs in the third highlighted by a J.T. Realmuto three-run homer on a ball that bounced off the top of the padding atop the right-field fence and caromed over the wall.

“When I hit it I knew I was just a couple inches short,” Realmuto said. “That’s why I was upset, but I got lucky enough. I honestly just thought I got under the ball. I didn’t think I got all of it. I was lucky enough that it carried enough and pretty relieved when it went over the fence. I kind of saw it out of the corner of my eye. I saw it hit the top of the fence, and then I didn’t know if it came back in or over the fence, so I was ready to keep running to third.

“This is definitely the most unique homer that I’ve ever hit.”

Realmuto is hitting .289 with three doubles, nine home runs, 25 RBIs and a .962 OPS. He's going to be a free agent at the end of the season and the Phillies are going to have to pay a high price if the club wants to retain his services.

Jake Arrieta tossed five solid innings in the win. He surrendered one run on three hits and was lifted only after a lengthy rain delay. The bullpen combined to allow just one run over the final four innings.

The win improved the Phils record on the current road trip to 3-5. The club now has the potential to wrap things up at the .500 mark with two more wins in Washington.

“There’s not a single person in this clubhouse that does not want to win a World Series,” said reliever Tommy Hunter, who tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief on Tuesday. “And that’s our goal. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to try to do that until somebody tells us that we can’t. I mean, that’s it. We want to win. That’s what our fanbase needs to know. This team wants to win really bad.”

The Phils turn to Aaron Nola on Wednesday. The Nats counter with Patrick Corbin.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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