Rupp’s sizzling bat isn’t enough to slow Nats

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Rendon hit a three-run homer to left field in the sixth to give the Nats a 6-1 lead. Rendon, who went 6-for-6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs on Sunday, finished the week with three doubles, five home runs and 17 RBIs.

Rendon's three-run home run

Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez was cruising through five innings before allowing four runs in the sixth. He gave up seven hits, six runs and struck out eight in seven innings. After an 11-9 start, the Phils have lost eight of their last nine games and five straight.

A.J. is OK: The Phillies hit some balls hard against Nationals starter A.J. Cole, but he limited the damage in his season debut. Cole allowed six hits, one run, four walks and struck out two in six innings. It helped that the Phillies made three outs on the bases with a batter’s interference call in the first, Tommy Joseph getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the second and Michael Saunders getting caught stealing in the fourth.

Rupp heats up: The Phillies would have been shut out, if not for Cameron Rupp. He singled to score the game’s first run in the second inning. He then homered to right-center field in the seventh. Rupp is hitting .385 (11-for-26) with three doubles, two home runs and three RBIs in his last seven games.

Rupp's RBI single

According to Statcastâ„¢, Zimmerman’s batted ball to deep center field in the second inning had a 77 percent Hit Probability, but Herrera jumped to catch it at the wall. Similarly hit balls are home runs 67 percent of the time.

Herrera robs potential home run

Nationals: Right-hander Tanner Roark (3-1, 4.04 ERA) will take the mound for Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies at 2:35 p.m. ET. Roark extended himself to a career-high 125 pitches in his last outing, so the Nats plan to manage his pitch count.

Phillies: Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (4-1, 3.18) hopes to return to form on Sunday against the Nats. He suffered his worst start of the season on Tuesday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, allowing six runs in four innings. Hellickson had not allowed more than two runs in any of his first five starts. He has allowed just five hits and two runs in 12 innings this season against Washington.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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