Neris struggles in 8th, Nationals rally past Phillies 4-3

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Even though Jeremy Hellickson breezed through seven innings, Pete Mackanin gave the ball to one of this season's best setup relievers to protect a one-run lead.

Plan failed.

Daniel Murphy hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth as the Washington Nationals scored three runs off Hector Neris and beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Monday night.

''We've had a good combo with Neris and (Jeanmar) Gomez,'' Mackanin said. ''Thought it was a good idea. Neris has been so good.''

Neris (1-2) had been outstanding so far, entering 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,'' Neris said. ''I know I'm better than that.''

Hellickson allowed one run and three hits, striking out eight. He was surprised to leave after only 79 innings.

''Obviously I would've liked to stay in,'' he said. ''I thought it was my game to win or lose, but Hector's probably been the best eighth-inning guy in the game.''

Bryce 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. He's day-to-day.

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.

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.

STANDINGS

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.

GLOVE WORK

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.

TRAINER'S ROOM

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.

UP NEXT

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.

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