Michael Taylor belted a solo home run in the fifth, the seventh home run allowed by Cole Hamels this season. Through those five innings, he had allowed just 10 hits in 17 innings on the season.
The home runs, and a two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman to break things open in the sixth, plagued the Phillies again as they lost for the fifth straight game, dropping the series opener to the Nationals, 5-2, on Thursday night at Nationals Park.
The first pitch of the game from Hamels in the bottom of the first was belted out of the park by Yunel Escobar, giving the Nationals the early lead.
The Phillies would respond in the third. A two-out triple by Freddy Galvis off the centerfield wall tied the game. The Phils would take the lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Darin Ruf with the bases loaded.
The Nationals tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a bloop single by Wilson Ramos.
Taylor's home run led off the fifth. Zimmerman's two-run double in the sixth came with no outs.
Hamels finished after six innings allowing five runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out seven.
Doug Fister settled in after the fourth, before leaving the game after loading the bases in the seventh. Fister finished with 6 2/3 innings pitched, allowing two runs – one earned – on four hits. He walked four and struck out four.
Luis Garcia and Jonathan Papelbon each worked scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The Phillies were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, continuing their struggles in that area and left seven runners on base.
The series with the Nationals continues on Friday night. First pitch of the second game of this three-game series is set for 7:05 p.m.
Kevin Durso is a contributing writer and editorial assistant for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.