PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin had said he didn't care about the difference between 99 losses and 100 for his rebuilding club.
Now that Philadelphia can't get to triple digits, he's changed his tune.
"I lied," he said. "I admit it."
The win ensures that Philadelphia (63-95) will not lose 100 games. The Phillies haven't lost that many since 1961, when they dropped 107 of 154 games.
With the loss, Washington locked itself into the second seed in the NL playoffs behind the Dodgers. The Nationals will host the NL Central champion -- either the Cubs or Milwaukee -- in a Division Series beginning Oct. 6 at Nationals Park.
"Their bullpen just shut us down," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.
"Right now, it is just get it to these guys with the lead and let it take over," Thompson said. "It seems like they are all firing at the same time. It's fun to watch."
Harper played for the first time since hyperextending and bruising his left knee on Aug. 12. He was 0 for 2 with a walk before being lifted in the fifth inning. Baker hasn't decided if Harper will play Wednesday.
"I feel fine," Harper said after the game. "Just try and get past tonight and see what I feel like tomorrow. If I feel good, then I'll play. If I don't, take a day and see what I feel like the next day."
Tommy Joseph had two hits, including a tying RBI single as part of a three-run third inning. Cameron Rupp followed with a line drive that sailed over the head of outfielder Michael Taylor in center field, bouncing to the wall to bring home both Aaron Altherr and Joseph.
Rhys Hoskins added a sacrifice fly in the seventh for the Phillies.
Howie Kendrick, who was traded from Philadelphia to Washington on July 28, connected on his ninth homer in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. Washington didn't get a hit after the third inning, though.
Neris ended the game by striking out the side in the ninth. It was his 19th straight save, the longest streak for the club since Jonathan Papelbon converted 19 straight in 2014-15.
"Like a lot of guys, you have to learn how to relax," Mackanin said. "The ninth inning is different than any other innings. He's starting to get more comfortable and relaxed."
Gio Gonzalez (15-8) allowed three runs in five innings.
The Phillies are 24-21 against left-handed starting pitchers this season. They are 39-74 against righties. ... Morgan has an 0.72 ERA in his last 19 games. ... Anthony Rendon's third-inning double allowed him to tie a career high with 66 extra-base hits, matching his total from 2014.
Nationals: 2B Daniel Murphy was held out for a second straight game due to soreness in his hamstring. Baker said the move was precautionary.
The Nationals and Phillies will meet for the final time in 2017 on Wednesday. Washington will send RHP Tanner Roark (13-10, 4.41) to the mound. He will be opposed by Phillies RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (3-6, 4.69).
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Joe Maddon took issue with Willson Contreras standing at home admiring a blast that ended up hitting the wall.
The Cubs have played some of their best baseball here in crunch time, a stretch that has taken a big bite out of the Diamondbacks' playoff chances.
The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals will open with their surprise 2018 aces as they begin an important three-game series for both teams on Monday night.
There will be no need for scoreboard watching when the National League West leaders meet Monday at Dodger Stadium, at least not the out-of-town scoreboard anyway.
With key races heating up, we preview the biggest matchups and size up what's on the line this week.
While the Rockies, Dodgers and Cardinals battle for two playoff spots, we have a new team at the top of the heap.