The singular career of Jayson Werth produced another extreme Saturday night in the moment he hopped up the steps of the Washington Nationals’ dugout and thrust his fist in the air. The curtain call punctuated so much: a two-run homer the fulcrum of the Nationals’ 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies his 1000th hit and his ascent at 34 back to the very top of baseball.

Werth had skied a first-pitch slider from Zach Miner over the left field fence at Nationals Park the keystone in a five-run seventh inning. Nationals Park exalted as Werth circled the bases and it would not fall silent until he emerged from the dugout.

Against Werth’s old team the 56-60 Nationals did not act like a club with nothing to play for. The Nationals fell behind 4-0 after the second inning and chipped away against Cliff Lee before exploding against the Phillies’ bullpen. After Bryce Harper’s safety squeeze bunt tied the score Werth’s blast pushed them ahead.

Starter Taylor Jordan composed himself after a disastrous second inning. Tanner Roark promoted on Tuesday held the Phillies at four runs with two scoreless innings that required 12 pitches. Rafael Soriano notched his 29th save. Ian Desmond reached base three times and ripped his 30th double. Washington won for the second straight night and shaved its deficit for the second wild card to eight games. It is not much but it is possibly a start.

“The mood in the clubhouse got a lot better and I got a lot smarter again” Manager Davey Johnson said. “But what a night Jayson had huh?”

Afterward Werth gave an interview on the field that echoed throughout the stadium. As he spoke Harper snuck up from behind him and dumped a bucket of Gatorade on him. Harper giggled as he scurried away. Werth shot him a no-you-did-not-do-that glare.