The Washington Nationals fell into an early two-run hole against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night, but scored the final six runs of the game to clinch the three-game series in Philadelphia. The 7-3 victory tied the franchise record for wins in a season with 95, matching the 1979 Expos. The Nationals also became the first Washington-based team to win 95 games since the 1933 Senators, who won the American League pennant.
Starter Gio Gonzalez picked up his league-leading 21st win, pitching six innings and giving up just the three runs. Philly rookie Darin Ruf ripped a three-run double in bottom half of the first, but after that, Gonzalez settled in and let his offense carry him to the win. R.A. Dickey had clinched his 20th win earlier in the day for the Mets, but Gio is now back in front after matching him in his evening start.
On the offensive side, it was sluggers Bryce Harper and Michael Morse who did most of the damage against Tyler Cloyd. Harper opened the scoring with a solo shot in the first and drove in Danny Espinosa with a single in the fifth that gave Washington a 4-3 lead. Morse launched two homers, including a massive two-run shot that made the score 6-3, and finished the game with four RBI.
The win drops the Nationals magic number to three. They now wrap up their road schedule for the 2012 season with a weekend series in St. Louis, with Edwin Jackson taking the mound on Friday night.