Hernandez 2-run homer lifts Phillies over Nats 4-2Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit, right, celebrates the team's win over the Washington Nationals with catcher Andrew Knapp, left, after a baseball game, Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cesar Hernandez became Philadelphia's first baserunner against Tanner Roark with a soft bunt single in the fourth inning. Hernandez had a much longer hit in the eighth that propelled the Phillies to a win.
''He didn't bunt for a hit that time,'' Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Blanton (0-2) relieved Roark to open the eighth, hit Freddy Galvis with a pitch and gave up Hernandez's one-out homer.
''Just didn't execute mechanically,'' Blanton said of the slider Hernandez drove over the right-field wall. ''I'm a touch off right now.''
Washington's bullpen has allowed 10 home runs in 11 games, three each off Blanton and Shawn Kelley.
''There's no explanation,'' Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. ''It's been almost everybody.''
Jeremy Hellickson (2-0) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings.
''He was really good,'' Mackanin. ''It makes it a lot easier for us.''
Hector Neris pitched a perfect eighth, and Joaquin Benoit a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save since signing with the Phillies as a free agent during the offseason.
Roark, 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA against the Phillies last year, gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings. He also singled and doubled.
He isn't concerned by the Nationals' relief struggles.
''They'll be fine,'' Roark said. ''We're not worried about them at all. We believe in them. That's us.''
Anthony Rendon hit an RBI single since in the third, but the Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the fourth after Hernandez and Howie Kendrick both reached on bunt singles. Obduel Herrera hit a run-scoring double and Maikel Franco had an RBI grounder.
''I am trying to see more pitches,'' Hernandez of his new leadoff role.
Chris Heisey, making his first start this season, homered in the seventh.
Daniel Murphy went 0 for 4, stopping his 10-game hitting streak.
CF Adam Eaton, C Matt Wieters, and LF Jayson Werth were all given a day off from the starting lineup. Eaton struck out in the eighth as a pinch hitter.
Baker will be rooting for the NBA's Washington Wizards and NHL's Washington Capitals in the playoffs.
''I'm hoping that we turn into a city of champions, because it can be contagious, that thought process of positive thoughts,'' Baker said. ''Right now the city is kind of negative as far as playoff situations that I've heard. Every time I talk to somebody about the Caps, they're always, 'Ah they'll lose.'''
Nationals: SS Trea Turner (right hamstring strain) took part in batting and fielding practice. Turner is eligible to return from the 10-day DL on Tuesday at Atlanta.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1) is to start Sunday's series finale after striking out seven over seven innings over seven innings in a no-decision against the New York Mets in his previous outing. Eickhoff was 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts against the Nationals last season.
Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-0), Sunday's scheduled starter, has struck out 13 in 13 innings while allowing one earned this season. He is 10-6 with a 2.67 ERA in 20 starts against the Phillies.
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