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Nationals Play Final Series in Oakland

After the team’s first series win of 2024 in San Francisco, the Nationals traveled up the Golden Gate Bridge for an Interleague series with the Oakland Athletics. However, Washington dropped two games in heartbreaking fashion for another series loss this season, with a 2-1 10-inning loss on Friday, a 3-1 win on Saturday, and a 7-6 loss on Sunday.

This was the first series in Oakland for the Nats since 2017 and also the last, as the Athletics will play in Sacramento for the next three seasons before moving to their permanent home in Las Vegas in 2028. The A’s had been playing at Oakland Coliseum since 1968.

Washington now drops to 6-9 on the season while sitting in fourth place in the NL East, as the team is expected to make some big decisions regarding roster moves, injuries, and major league call-ups after this series.

In the Nationals’ 2-1 loss on Friday night, the team trailed 1-0 going into the top of the ninth, but Jesse Winker hit a 387-foot home run to right center to tie the game at 1-1. This was Winker’s first homer as a member of Washington, as he currently leads the team with 15 hits, a .341 batting average, and a .482 OBP.

However, Kyle Finnegan, who spent six seasons in the A’s farm system without being added to the 40-man roster before signing with the Nats in 2020, wasn’t able to hold it together in the bottom of the 10th, as Lawrence Butler’s walk-off RBI single sealed it for Oakland.

The next contest fared much better for Washington, as MacKenzie Gore got the start on the mound and struck out 11 A’s batters in five innings for his second win this year. He currently has the lowest ERA (2.81) and most strikeouts (23) for the Nats so far this year.

Gore also got some run support help with the victory, as Washington put up 10 hits and three runs, while Finnegan bounced back and recorded the save. C.J. Abrams, Luis Garcia Jr., and Jacob Young all finished with two extra-base hits and an RBI each, as Abrams hit an RBI triple to right field in the top of the third, while Garcia and Young each doubled to drive in runs.

Sunday’s contest originally looked like a surefire victory for the Nationals, as they led 6-1 midway through the sixth inning. Lane Thomas had an impressive day going 3-for-5 with three RBIs, including a 429-foot homer to left-center on the ninth pitch of his at-bat vs. A’s starter Alex Wood. Thomas currently leads the club with 10 RBIs.

Other Washington batters contributed as well, with Joey Meneses grounding out to third and sending home a run, Young hitting an RBI double, and then Meneses hitting a bloop 2-out RBI single to score Trey Lipscomb.

Trevor Williams also had a strong start on the bump and went 5 and 1/3 innings on 78 pitches, finishing with seven K’s to match his high from last season. However, Williams was pulled after allowing two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, while reliever Derek Law gave up three more runs to give up the lead.

Next up, the Nationals will travel south of California for a three-game series with the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Harry Lichtman
Harry Lichtmanhttps://mlbreport.com/
Washington Nationals Beat Reporter | Frostburg State University Class of 2018 | Resident of Potomac, MD


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