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Phillies salvage series finale, defeat Nats, 4-3

washington nationalsPhiladelphia avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of NL East rival Washington, walking off the Nats on a Maikel Franco solo homer in a 4-3 win on Sunday.

The Nationals (49-43) had won the first two games of the weekend series, but spent much of the Sunday matinee playing from behind, trailing 3-1 into the seventh inning, when pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick and leadoff man Trea Turner hit back-to-back RBI singles to knot the game at 3.

Washington went down in order in the eighth and ninth, with Adam Morgan and Hector Neris striking out the side in both frames.

Franco connected off Nats reliever Matt Grace (0-2, 6.09 ERA), pitching a bit out of position, in a tie game in the ninth.

His most recent appearance with a comparable situation dates back more than a month, to June 6, when he got two outs in the eighth inning of a 5-4 loss at San Diego.

Grace has four holds and no saves in 38 appearances in 2019.

Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 4.50 ERA) got a no-decision in what was technically a quality start, giving up three earned runs in six innings of work, allowing six hits and walking two, with two strikeouts.

Washington is off on Monday, returning to action Tuesday for the first of a quick two-game mid-week series with Baltimore.

Story by Chris Graham