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 09:51 IST | Created: 09-09-2020 09:51 IST
Washington scored four early runs, Anibal Sanchez won for the second time in his last 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