The Philadelphia Phillies never seem to collapse when facing a deficit. They’re certainly not folding in the NL East.
After yet another emotional win, the Phillies look to continue their run at first place in the NL East as they continue a four-game series with the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
Philadelphia earned its major league-leading 47th come-from-behind victory Thursday night, beating Washington 7-6 after trailing by four runs in the third inning.
The Phillies (83-70) are also drawing closer to a comeback in the NL East, trailing the first-place New York Mets by 1 1/2 games after being down by seven on Sept. 12. Philadelphia has won seven of eight to gain ground on a New York team that has dropped six of seven.
“We’re here now. How? I don’t know,” Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. “But it’s sweet now, and that’s all that matters.”
Rollins capped Philadelphia’s latest comeback with a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth inning after Jayson Werth’s pinch-hit homer helped erase a four-run deficit. The Phillies have scored seven or more runs in four of their last five games.
“It’s a tremendous lineup,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said.
Philadelphia got right fielder Shane Victorino back Thursday. He went 1-for-4 in his first start since Sept. 10, and only his fifth since injuring his right calf July 30.
Victorino and the Phillies’ lineup may need to find a way to put together another comeback Friday, with struggling starter Adam Eaton (9-9, 6.36 ERA) taking the mound. The right-hander is 0-2 with an 8.48 ERA in his last six starts.
In his last start, Eaton gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 10-6 win over the New York Mets on Sunday.
Eaton has no record and a 4.80 ERA in five career starts against Washington (68-85).
The Nationals will counter with Shawn Hill (4-4, 3.01 ERA), who will make his final two starts of the season before having surgery on his left shoulder Oct. 4, the team announced Thursday.
Hill originally hurt his non-throwing shoulder diving back to third while running the bases against Florida on April 20. On May 1, he aggravated the injury after reaching back to try to make catch while covering first base on a grounder against San Diego.
He said the injury doesn’t hinder his pitching, but it does bother him while swinging a bat or fielding.
The right-hander is 1-3 with a 2.63 ERA in seven starts at home, getting two or fewer runs of support in each of those outings.
Hill, though, struggled at home in his last start, allowing three runs, five hits and matched a career high with four walks in five innings of a 3-0 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.
Hill is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this season, and 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in four lifetime starts.
Washington has lost six of nine, posting a 5.92 ERA in that span.