Nationals 8, Phillies 4: Rookie Bryce Harper and Kurt Suzuki belted two-run homers as visiting Washington inched closer to clinching the National League East title while pushing Philadelphia to the brink of elimination.
Ian Desmond also went deep and former Phillie Jayson Werth provided insurance with a two-run single up the middle in the ninth inning. John Lannan (4-0) tossed 5 1/3 solid innings for the Nationals, who remained four games ahead of Atlanta and reduced their magic number for securing the division title to four. The Braves posted a 3-0 triumph over Miami on Wednesday.
After Werth walked to lead off the first inning, Harper crushed a first-pitch sinker from Kyle Kendrick (10-12) into the seats in left-center field for his 20th homer. Desmond led off the second by blasting a hanging slider for his 25th homer and Suzuki followed two batters later by belting a thigh-high fastball into the seats in left field.
Jimmy Rollins answered with a two-out homer in the seventh - his 23rd this season and eighth this month. Kevin Frandsen collected two hits and scored twice for the Phillies, who sit 5 1/2 games in back of St. Louis with seven to play in the race for the second wild card. The Cardinals fell 2-0 to Houston.
Lannan improved to 3-12 in his career versus Philadelphia after allowing two runs on five hits and striking out three. Three relievers permitted three hits the rest of the way to handcuff the Phillies.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Roy Halladay completed a bullpen session on Wednesday and deemed himself ready to start Saturday's game against Miami. The Phillies' ace was dealing with spasms behind his right shoulder. ... Philadelphia reliever B.J. Rosenberg collected his first hit and RBI with a run-scoring single up the middle in the fourth inning. ... After winning six of his previous eight starts, Kendrick was touched for five runs on as many hits in two innings to take the loss.