MLB Game Preview - Phillies v Nationals

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Game 2: Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Philadelphia0 0 0 2 0 1 0 2 0 5101
Washington0 0 1 0 2 1 0 2 x 680
  W: J. Turner (2-1)   L: P. Neshek (0-1)   S: M. Albers (2)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, May 14, 2017
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 30,137

Phillies, Nats ready for day-night doubleheader

WASHINGTON -- The last three times the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies have played on a Sunday, the home team came away with a thrilling walk-off win.

The teams will have a chance to double the excitement when they play a day-night doubleheader on Mother's Day. The rare two-games-in-one-day event will take place after Friday's game was rained out.

Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 2.64) will face Jeremey Hellickson (4-1, 3.49) of the Phillies at 1:35 p.m. Sunday while Max Scherzer (4-2, 2.59) of the Nationals will oppose Philadelphia's Vince Velasquez (2-3, 5.94) in the 7:05 p.m. nightcap.

In the previous Sunday game at Nationals Park between the two teams, the Nationals prevailed 6-4 on April 16 as Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer in the last of the ninth off Joaquin Benoit, who was tagged with the loss.

Harper made news again Saturday as the Nationals announced he had signed a contract for the 2018 season even though he was arbitration eligible and can still be a free agent after the 2018 season. The deal was for about $21.6 million, according to Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).

Then he hit a two-run walkoff homer in the ninth to beat the Phillies 6-4 on Saturday night.

"Nobody can say he ain't worth the money," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Will there be extension talks with Scott Boras, the agent for Harper?

"Not sure. We have a great relationship with Harp," Washington general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters. "We love having him around. He's our own. Drafted, developed, signed, been an MVP for us. He's a very unique player. There's not many comps for his performance, both in the short-term and in the bulk throughout his career. So he's a unique player with a unique talent set that is our own. We love what he's done for us, and we couldn't be happier that we know where we're at in 2018."

The Phillies won 4-3 on April 9 as Cesar Hernandez had an RBI single in the last of the ninth to make a loser out of Washington reliever Koda Glover, who came off the disabled list Friday and pitched Saturday.

Philadelphia won again 6-5 in the last of the 10th on May 7 as Freddy Galvis drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly as struggling Blake Treinen took the loss for Washington.

The last time Gonzalez took the mound he gave up three home runs in the first inning in a loss on the road to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. One of the homers was hit by Mark Trumbo in a pitch up in his eyes as the Orioles scored four in the first.

"After the first inning he really settled down and threw a great ballgame after that," said Matt Wieters, the Nationals catcher. "Both me and him were shocked with the ball that Trumbo hit and it may have carried over."

Gonzalez went seven innings and allowed seven runs and seven hits. Joey Rickard of the Orioles led off the game with a homer and Trumbo and Trey Mancini homered later in the inning.

"The first homer was to the leadoff hitter who wants to put the ball in play. He just happened to hit it out," said Wieters, a former Orioles catcher. "After that (first inning) he threw the ball great, just like has been throwing the ball all year."

Gonzalez has allowed two runs or fewer in his last six starts at home against the Phillies. He is 10-6 with a 2.66 ERA in 21 games (all starts) in his career against Philadelphia, a system that Gonzalez played in the minors with in 2006.

Scherzer is 8-1 in his career against Philadelphia with an impressive 2.19 ERA in 12 starts.

Hellickson is 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in seven starts in his career against Washington. This year, he is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts against Washington.

Velasquez, in his career against the Nationals, is 2-3 with a 5.94 ERA in six games, all starts. He has allowed 30 hits in 33 1/3 innings with 15 walks and 34 strikeouts. This season, he is 0-2 with a 8.18 ERA in two starts against Washington.

Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera has been banged up a little bit. "He is not complaining. He is healthy," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said late Saturday.

The biggest problem has been Harper, who went deep against Edubray Ramos in the ninth Saturday. It was the second walkoff homer in as many games at Nationals Park against the Phillies for Harper.

There have been five walkoff games between the teams this year.

"The plan was to locate the fastball down and away and that's what I tried, but it didn't happen," Ramos said through an interpreter.

Updated May 14, 2017

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