WASHINGTON (AP) J.T. Realmuto followed an intentional walk to Bryce Harper by driving a hanging curveball over the wall for a three-run homer, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 on Saturday.

“If I try to go up there and do more and make the other manager ‘pay,’ that’s usually when I get out of the zone and chase and … my swing falls apart,” Realmuto said about having Harper, a two-time NL MVP and the team's No. 3 hitter, be put on base on purpose ahead of him. “I try to calm myself down and do less and that usually works out.”

Phillies starter Ranger Suárez (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. José Alvarado, Philadelphia's fourth pitcher, threw the ninth for his second save in two chances this season.

Realmuto, who singled and scored on Alec Bohm's triple in the first, took advantage of a poor 0-2 pitch by Jake Irvin (0-1) to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead in the third inning. Trea Turner got things going with a two-out double, before two-time NL MVP Harper was put aboard.

Irvin threw three curves in a row, and the third just sat there for Realmuto, who has a six-game hitting streak and is now batting .333 with a .935 OPS, early success Phillies manager Rob Thomson thinks could be connected to some offseason adjustments such as shortening his leg kick.

“We know what we have. I mean, we have a lineup - 1 to 9 - that we know they’re all game-changers,” Suárez said through an interpreter.

The one exception at the moment is Johan Rojas, who went 0 for 4 and is hitting .045 for the season.

As Realmuto circled the bases, Irvin bowed his head and put his hands on his hips. Irvin went six innings, giving up four runs.

“The outing as a whole was really good,” said Irvin, who described himself as feeling under the weather. “Just one really bad pitch.”

After getting shut out 4-0 on a total of two hits Friday, Washington at least got on the board in this one, cutting the deficit to 4-2 on Joey Gallo's two-run shot in the third. It was his 200th career homer.

But that was Washington's last hit. For the second consecutive game, the home team did not manage so much as a single beyond the third inning.

“We’re throwing strikes and we’re getting ahead of hitters. Once you get ahead of hitters, they go on the defensive,” Thomson said about his pitching staff. “We have a bunch of guys that have really good stuff and once you get ahead, the stuff plays.”


The Phillies shipped RHP Connor Brogdon to the Los Angeles Dodgers for LHP Benony Robles, who played at Class A last season. Brogdon, a reliever, helped Philadelphia reach the 2022 World Series but gave up six earned runs in two innings this season and was designated for assignment Tuesday.


Phillies: RHP Taijuan Walker, on the 10-day IL with a shoulder injury, threw live batting practice before Saturday's game.

Nationals: SS CJ Abrams was a late scratch because of bone bruise on his left pinkie finger from a slide Friday. Rookie Nasim Nuñez played shortstop; it was his first start in the majors. ... 3B Nick Senzel, who broke his right thumb on opening day, is expected to head to Double-A Harrisonburg next week on a rehab assignment.


The three-game series wraps up Sunday with Philadelphia's Cristopher Sánchez (0-0, 3.60 ERA) facing Washington's MacKenzie Gore (0-0, 5.06) in a matchup of lefty starters.


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