Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nats sink Phillies nearer to elimination

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — All that chasing has taken a toll on the Philadelphia Phillies.
Bryce Harper hit his 20th homer, Ian Desmond and Kurt Suzuki also connected and the Nationals beat the Phillies 8-4 Wednesday night to move closer toward winning their first division title since moving to Washington.
The Phillies, who closed to within three games of St. Louis for the NL's second wild-card spot following a late push, are on the verge of elimination. The five-time defending NL East champions are 5½ games behind the Cardinals.
They need to go 7-0 and hope St. Louis finishes 1-5 to force a tie, assuming Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Dodgers don't win more than four the rest of the way.
"We've been pushing real hard and it's catching up to us," manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Phillies came from way behind to make it interesting. They were 45-57 and 13 games behind the second wild-card team on July 31.
At least they won't be eliminated at home. The Phillies are guaranteed to be mathematically alive after Thursday's home finale.


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