Clemens’ homer sets up Harper’s extra-inning heroics in Phillies’ 4-3 win over Nationals

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Kody Clemens thought his game-tying home run in the ninth inning wasn’t it at first. The Phillies super utility man has been crushing the ball since he was called back to the Phillies on May 4, but even he had doubts about the ball going over the fence.

“To be honest, I thought it was too low,” Clemens said. “It was great. That feeling can’t be beat. It’s like you fainted. I’m so grateful it went away. I didn’t know it did, but it went away. It was amazing.”

Clemens, entering the game for Edmundo Sosa in the seventh inning, hit the game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth to send the Phillies into extra innings. That home run set the stage for Bryce Harper’s heroics in the 10th inning, when he hit Johan Rojas with a sacrifice fly to give him the Philadelphia Phillies a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.

The Phillies never led until Harper’s sacrifice fly in the tenth won the game and secured another series victory for the Phillies. This was the 14th consecutive series the Phillies won or tied, the second-longest streak in franchise history and the longest for the team in a single season.

Until their final at-bat with two outs in the ninth, the Phillies found a way to extend a game in which they seemed to have nothing to do.

“(It) goes back to the character of the guys in the clubhouse,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “They fight and they don’t give up. They never think they’re done until the last out. This is the character of the ballclub. They always feel like they’re in the game, no matter what the score is. No matter the inning. “

The Phillies trailed on three separate occasions in this one, but came back from behind each time. Bryson Stott hit a game-tying home run in the seventh to tie the game 2-2 before Clemens hit the home run off him. Clemens also had a hit in that seventh inning to go 2 for 2, improving his batting average to .304 and his OPS to 1.159.

“He’s getting more at-bats every day in the big leagues,” Harper said. “He goes in there (and) never gets outplayed. He doesn’t try to do too much. He always tries to put the ball in the cannon and I think he does a phenomenal job even when he’s not playing or starting the game.” , being able to secure it later in the game against tough pitchers. He saw it tonight.”

The Phillies had just two hits that night when Stott hit the home run to tie the score. Although runs were hard to come by, Stott’s hit seemed to wake up an offense dormant for six innings. Washington starter MacKenzie Gore held the Phillies out for six innings before Stott’s home run sent him to the dugout.

“He’s got that length – and life – on his fastball and a lot of his secondary pitches are pretty good, but he’s throwing strikes,” Thompson said. “That’s what maybe we didn’t see, not so much last year.”

The Phillies improved to 33-14 with the victory, tied with the 1976 and 1993 teams for the best 47-game starts in franchise history. This victory would not have been possible without the bat of Clemens, who hit the most powerful home run of his career.

The home run was also the first game-tying home run of Clemens’ career.

“Everyone was cheering me on and high-fiving me,” Clemens said when he returned to the dugout. “It’s amazing to be around these guys. We all support each other. It’s amazing (to be here). We all show up here and are expected to win the game. It’s an amazing atmosphere to be around and I have a lot of confidence in the locker room. Everything It’s going well.”