PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Daniel Murphy delivered another big hit with the game on the line after teammate Bryce Harper left with an injured knee.
Murphy hit a solo homer and tiebreaking two-run single, Tanner Roark threw seven sharp innings and the Washington Nationals held on for a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.
He became the latest Mr. October last fall when he set a major league record by hitting home runs in six straight postseason games while leading the New York Mets to an NL pennant. He's carried that groove into the first two months of this season with the Nationals.
"They're falling right now," he said. "I'm in another good lineup, here in Washington. I'm swinging the bat well. We're all playing well right now, and I think we put ourselves in a really good spot through almost two months."
Murphy raised his average to .395 with three hits, falling a triple shy of the cycle.
"We wouldn't be close (without Murphy)," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "Murph, man, he's been great all over, really. He just keeps doing his thing, and we're going to help him keep doing his thing. We're glad we have him."
Harper left the game shortly after taking a fastball off the outside part of his right knee in the seventh. The reigning NL MVP went to first base, got doubled off on Murphy's fly out to left and was replaced by Chris Heisey in right field in the bottom half.
"It hurts," Harper said. "Whenever you get squared up like that, it doesn't feel good. We'll evaluate tomorrow and see how it feels. If I don't feel good, I'm not going to play. If I feel fine, then I'll be in there."
Roark (4-4) gave up two runs and four hits. Felipe Rivero pitched the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon escaped trouble in the ninth for his 14th save in 16 tries.
Maikel Franco and Ryan Howard hit consecutive doubles off their former teammate to start bottom of the ninth and get the Phillies within one run. But Papelbon struck out pinch-hitter Tommy Joseph and Cesar Hernandez and retired Tyler Goeddel on a liner to second.
Jeremy Hellickson threw seven impressive innings for the Phillies before the Nationals rallied off Hector Neris (1-2).
Neris had been outstanding in a setup role. He entered with a 1.29 ERA, but three walks hurt him. A two-out walk to Ben Revere, a .176 hitter, preceded Jayson Werth's tying RBI single. After Neris walked Heisey to load the bases, Murphy ripped a two-run single to right.
"I'm disappointed. I know I'm better than that," Neris said.
Galvis gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the sixth on his fifth homer, a drive to right-center.
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead on Hellickson's safety squeeze in the second inning. Cesar Hernandez walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Hellickson put down a perfect bunt.
Murphy hit his eighth homer out to right-center in the fourth to tie it at 1.
The NL East-leading Nationals remained one game ahead of the Mets by snapping a four-game losing streak to the Phillies, who've lost four in a row and six of seven to fall to 26-25.
Howard saved a run in the second inning with a leaping catch on Wilson Ramos' hard liner to first.
GLOVE WORK PART 2
Revere, the Phillies' former center fielder, robbed Howard of extra bases with a sliding catch on the warning track in the sixth.
Phillies: OF/INF Cody Asche was 1 for 4 with a home run at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Asche is rehabbing an oblique strain suffered in spring training.
RHP Aaron Nola (4-3, 2.86) pitches for the Phillies while RHP Joe Ross (4-4, 2.52) goes for the Nationals. Nola is 0-1, 5.32 in four starts vs. Washington. Ross tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings in his only start vs. Philadelphia.