Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Max Scherzer tossed eight strong innings and scored the go-ahead run as the Washington Nationals nipped the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1, in the opener of a three-game set.

Scherzer (5-3) allowed a run on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts while Ian Desmond drove in the winning run and Bryce Harper hit a solo home run for the Nationals, who have won six straight.

"He threw a great game tonight," Harper said about Scherzer. "It's so impressive to see him go about his business."

Odubel Herrera drove in the only run of the game for the Phillies, who have dropped three of their last four. Sean O'Sullivan (1-3) gave up a pair of runs on five hits over six innings to take the loss.

"Definitely a confidence builder," O'Sullivan said. "It feels good to take the mound and have my team feel like we got a chance to win that day."

Ryan Howard doubled to start the Philly second, but was caught in a rundown when Maikel Franco hit a grounder back to the mound. After Grady Sizemore struck out, Herrera blasted a shot off the wall in center for a double, and Franco came home for a 1-0 lead.

The lead was short lived, though, as Harper led off the home second with his 16th home run of the season.

In the top of the sixth, Chase Utley doubled with one out and moved to third on a Howard groundout, but Franco flied out to end the frame.

The Nationals went on top in the home sixth, as Scherzer singled to start the frame and later scored on a Desmond double for a 2-1 lead.

Utley led off the ninth with a single off Drew Storen, but Howard struck out. Franco then reached base on an infield single, but Sizemore flied out and Herrera struck out as Storen picked up his 13th save of the season.

Game Notes

Philadelphia went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base ... Scherzer is 3-1 in five starts against the Phillies ... O'Sullivan fell to 0-2 in three games against the Nats.