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Nationals hold early lead, secure sweep against Rays

The off-speed work by Sanchez (2-4) kept the Rays off-balance in his five scoreless innings before the visitors scored three times against him in the sixth. Brock Holt was 2-for-4 with a run and a double, and Trea Turner (double, stolen base), Carter Kieboom (double) and Juan Soto each had a hit, run and an RBI for the Nationals (16-25), who swept the two-game series.

Reuters | Updated: 09-09-2020 07:12 IST | Created: 09-09-2020 07:12 IST
Nationals hold early lead, secure sweep against Rays

Washington scored four early runs, Anibal Sanchez won for the second time in four starts and the Nationals held on Tuesday night in a 5-3 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. The off-speed work by Sanchez (2-4) kept the Rays off-balance in his five scoreless innings before the visitors scored three times against him in the sixth.

Brock Holt was 2-for-4 with a run and a double, and Trea Turner (double, stolen base), Carter Kieboom (double) and Juan Soto each had a hit, run and an RBI for the Nationals (16-25), who swept the two-game series. Tampa Bay's Ryan Yarbrough (0-3) returned from the injured list and wasn't sharp after an 11-day absence. The left-hander allowed four runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings and tossed 70 pitches.

Ji-Man Choi recorded a hit, run and RBI, and Yoshi Tsutsugo had a run-scoring double for Tampa Bay (28-15), which tallied just six hits. The Rays lost consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 1-2 when the Orioles swept three from them in Baltimore -- also the last time the American League East leaders dropped a series.

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead by manufacturing a run in a hitless first. Leadoff batter Victor Robles was hit by a pitch and Turner walked, and both advanced on a double steal. Soto beat out a slow roller to third to score Robles, but the play was overturned to a groundout after the Rays challenged. Washington's bats were in action in the second as they pushed the lead to 2-0 on back-to-back, two-out doubles by Holt and rookie Kieboom, whose two-bagger was the first of his career.

Asdrubal Cabrera produced a sacrifice fly to score Turner in the third, and Josh Harrison lined a single to bring home Soto, but reliever Aaron Slegers forced a bases-loaded flyout to keep it 4-0. The Rays finally touched Sanchez for three runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Choi with no outs, and Tsutsugo greeted reliever Wander Suero with a double into the left-field corner. Suero also uncorked a wild pitch to make it 4-3.

Slegers hit two batters to open the sixth, and the first -- Kieboom -- later scored on Turner's groundout, the game's second inning in which the Nationals scored a run without a hit. Suero, Sean Doolittle, Tanner Rainey and Daniel Hudson (ninth save) each worked scoreless frames to preserve the win.

--Field Level Media


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