Phillies follow one of their better wins with one of their worst losses

Phillies follow one of their better wins with one of their worst losses originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

A game after bouncing back for one of their better wins, the Phillies suffered one of their worst losses of the season Friday night, falling 8-7 to the Nationals.

The Phils scored six times with two outs in the fourth inning to take a five-run lead, then gave all six back in the bottom half. Washington’s rally began with an error by Phillies center fielder Johan Rojas and ended with CJ Abrams’ three-run home run.

Nine days after throwing a no-hitter, Michael Lorenzen didn’t make it out of the fourth inning. He allowed a season-high seven runs, six earned, and his ERA rose from 3.23 to 3.57.

The Phillies (66-56) have lost four of their last five games. They’re 6-5 against the last-place Nationals with two more games this weekend — Saturday in D.C., Sunday in Williamsport for MLB’s Little League Classic.

After losing Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday and scoring a grand total of two runs, the Phillies scored seven times against Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman Wednesday in a 9-4 win. They carried some of that offensive momentum into Friday but the Nationals seized it in the bottom of the fourth.

It had the makings of a promising night for the Phils, a potentially easy victory. With two outs and men on first and second in the fourth, J.T. Realmuto delivered the first blow, a two-run double off of Nationals starting pitcher Joan Adon. That started a string of four straight hits. Jake Cave doubled in Realmuto, Rojas singled in Cave and Kyle Schwarber capped the rally with a two-run homer to right.

They had a chance in the top of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs but Trea Turner went down swinging on four pitches.

Schwarber cut the lead to one by leading off the ninth with his second bomb of the game, No. 32, but that was it.

Despite their recent string of losses, the Phillies are still in decent shape in the National League wild-card race. They went into the weekend two games ahead of the Giants for the top spot and they’re four games ahead of the first team out, the Cubs.

The Phillies have Cristopher Sanchez starting Saturday and Zack Wheeler Sunday. Ranger Suarez was initially slated to pitch the series finale but is being pushed back because of hamstring soreness. The Phils have turned out to need this six-man rotation between the minor Suarez injury and the recent decline in velocity and performance from Taijuan Walker.