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Phillies Fall to NL East-Leading Nationals

Gio Gonzalez became the first 21-game winner in the majors, Michael Morse hit two homers and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 Thursday night to move closer to an NL East title.

Drew Hallowell, Getty Images

Bryce Harper also connected for the Nationals, who reduced their magic number to three. They have a four-game lead over Atlanta with six to play.

Gonzalez (21-8) settled down after a shaky start and lasted six innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He’s the first NL lefty to win more than 20 games since Dontrelle Willis won 22 for the Florida Marlins in 2005.

Gonzalez and Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (20-6) are considered the leading candidates for the NL Cy Young Award.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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