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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Gibson retired his first 18 batters and pitched one-run ball over eight innings, Kyle Schwarber hit his NL-leading 34th homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 7-2 Friday night.

Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Nick Castellanos and Darick Hall also homered for the Phillies, who have won eight of nine to solidify their standing in the race for the NL’s third and final wild-card position.

The victory moved Philadelphia 10 games over .500 for the first time since they were 37-27 on June 8, 2019.

Gibson overpowered Washington’s lineup, weakened significantly after the club traded Juan Soto and Josh Bell to San Diego this week. He struck out four, allowed two hits and hit two batters over 105 pitches.

Gibson forced 12 groundball outs, including a sparkling backhand defensive play by third baseman Alec Bohm on a hard-hit ball by Ildemaro Vargas to end the sixth.

Washington’s Victor Robles broke up the perfect game by getting plunked with a fastball in his left forearm to begin the seventh inning. The next batter, Luis Garcia, ended Gibson’s no-hit bid with a clean single into left field over the glove of Bohm.

The Nationals/Expos franchise has not been no-hit since David Cone’s perfect game against Montreal on July 18, 1999.

Gibson surrendered his only run in the eighth, when Vargas lifted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Lane Thomas. Garcia scored Washington’s second run in the ninth off reliever Brad Hand.

All of the offense that Gibson needed came in the first inning when Philadelphia jumped on starter Josiah Gray.

Hoskins hit a solo shot to right for his 22nd homer to start the scoring. Two hitters later, Castellanos crushed an inside fastball to deep left field for his 10th, making it 3-0. Hall immediately followed with his sixth homer since being called up from Triple A Lehigh Valley on June 29.

Realmuto — who fell a double short of the cycle — lifted a high-arcing homer that sneaked over the left-field wall for a two-run homer in the third.

Schwarber closed out the Philadelphia scoring in the seventh with a rocket that hit the steps inside the home bullpen in deep right-center.

TRAINERS ROOM

Nationals: RHP Tyler Clippard threw a scoreless inning during a rehab assignment for Triple-A Rochester on Friday night. Clippard got two groundouts and one fly out in 11 pitches for the Red Wings. Clippard has been on the 15-day injured list since July 19 with a groin strain.

ROSTER MOVES

Phillies: Recalled INF Nick Maton from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and optioned INF Yairo Munoz.

UP NEXT

The Phillies and Nationals meet Saturday in the third game of their four-game set. Washington will send LHP Patrick Corbin (4-15, 6.57 ERA) to the mound against Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (7-5, 3.60).

___

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Mike Prestons Ravens observations on J.K. Dobbins return, O-line issues, Lamar Jacksons perfect pass and more | COMMENTARY

Star running J.K. Dobbins returned to practice Monday after missing all of last season with a knee injury, but the player the Ravens miss the most is Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who is still out nursing an injured ankle that has been surgically repaired twice.

Dobbins’ return created some excitement at training camp, especially for a team in need of a top running back, but this offense will suffer without their $98.8 million tackle. The Ravens have tried different combinations to replace Stanley, who is expected to return in time for the regular season opener against the New York Jets on Sept. 11, but there is only one All-Pro at the position, and he’s still missing in action.

Ja’Wuan James, who has played just three games since the start of 2019, filling in for Stanley is causing concern. He might be more athletic than last year’s starting tackle, Alejandro Villanueva, but he is lethargic at times, possibly because he’s switching back and forth from both tackle positions.

He will certainly struggle against speed rushers on quarterback Lamar Jackson’s blind side. Right now, the Ravens are strong on the right side with tackle Morgan Moses and guard Kevin Zeitler, but the left side — with James and guard Ben Powers — is not nearly as adept.

If rookie center Tyler Linderbaum doesn’t recover from a foot injury that Harbaugh said is “not a serious injury,” the Ravens will probably start Patrick Mekari in his place. Mekari is a better guard than center, though, and might be the best left tackle available right now.

Boyle still working

Veteran tight end Nick Boyle is trying to return from a serious leg injury that he suffered in November 2020, and while he has worked extremely hard, there are times when he plants his leg to cut and limps lightly away.

You question how long he can play this way or is this just part of his rehabilitation in returning to practice. He once was one of the better blocking tight ends in the NFL, an imposing figure when the Ravens have him, fellow tight end Mark Andrews and fullback Patrick Ricard lined up on the right side.

Boyle returned for a few games last season after two surgeries. The initial procedure, which he called “the worst surgery of my life,” repaired meniscus, PCL, MCL and fracture damage. A clean-up procedure, which he underwent last summer, delayed his return to the field. He still seems to be working his way back.

Jackson impresses

One of the best passes I ever saw Jackson throw was about a 14-yard out to receiver James Proche II on a third-and-8 at the Ravens’ 4-yard line on Monday. The pass was perfectly timed, as Jackson threw before Proche even made his break.

Very seldom does Jackson throw those types of timing patterns to the outside of the field. As for the rest of Jackson’s day, he was better on the short to intermediate throws than on the long ball, but overall he continues to perform well in training camp.

Wakeup call

This has been one of those “brother-in-law” type camps because the Ravens don’t want to risk injuries, and it’s about that time where some players start laying on each other and going through the motions.

So, it was great when rookie receiver Makai Polk ran a short crossing and turned to go up field only to get knocked into next week by undrafted rookie cornerback Denzel Williams. I assume some of the Ravens coaches weren’t too happy about the move, but it was nice to see a good hit in these dog days of summer.

It made you look forward to the regular-season opener.

Practice playmaker

Two rookies who performed on the opposite end of the spectrum Monday were receiver Shemar Bridges and cornerback Damarion Williams.

Bridges, who had been solid for most of training camp, dropped several passes and appeared to lose concentration. Williams knocked down a couple of passes, and it’s interesting to see how serious the Ravens are about having him return punts.

The kid is a playmaker, at least in practice, so far.

Helmets off

During several periods Monday, Harbaugh allowed the players to take their helmets off and walk or jog through passes. This is the complete opposite of previous years, which is a good thing after so many injuries a year ago.

Designated pass blocker?

I really like watching the pass protection period where the offensive and defensive linemen go one-on-one. Zeitler has performed well most of training camp, but the most impressive offensive lineman continues to be guard Tyre Phillips.

It’s gotten to the point that if NFL teams can put in different players in passing situations, why not make Phillips your designated pass blocker?

Just joking, folks.

Well, kind of.

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