Phillies avoid sweep after 6-4 win over Nationals in extra innings

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Thanks to a 2-1 win by the Cincinnati Reds over the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies moved within 2 ½ games in the NL East after defeating the Washington Nationals 6-4 in the 11th inning on Sunday to avoid the sweep. Placido Polanco arguably had his best game as a Phillie after going 3 for 6 with two RBI and two runs—including a single in the bottom of the 11th that allowed Wilson Valdez to score and give Philadelphia a 5-4 lead.

Despite allowing four runs, it was another impressive outing for Cole Hamels, who threw 10 strikeouts and allowed no walks in seven innings of work. It was the fourth time in five outings that Hamels finished with a no decision, but the Phillies have to be pleased he hasn’t lost since July 1 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Philadelphia has won nine of their last 11 games and will open up a three-game series against the Florida Marlins on Tuesday. Unfortunately, they may have to do so without one of their top players in Ryan Howard—who left Sunday’s game after spraining his ankle in the first inning. Lucky for the Phillies, X-rays came back negative, but his status for Tuesday is still questionable.

Key notes:

-Adam Dunn hit his 25th home run of the season after a two-run shot off Hamels in the sixth inning.

-Ryan Zimmerman went 2 for 5 with a key two-run double in the fourth inning.

-Jayson Werth continued to stay hot for the Phillies, finishing 2 for 5 with a key RBI double in the 11th inning.

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