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Nationals Escape With Two Wins Against Rockies

The Washington Nationals entered their three-series road trip this weekend with three games against the lowly Colorado Rockies, one of the worst teams in the National League. The Nats took the first game by the score of 11-5 in Friday’s game, then lost the Saturday game 8-7 on a pitch clock violation, and barely escaped the Sunday contest for the 2-1 win to clinch the series.

With those two wins, Washington improves to just below .500 with a record of 38-39 in third place in the NL East division, as they have inched closer to getting back into the NL Wild Card race.

On Friday, not only did the Nationals score 11 runs, but they also finished with a season-high 19 hits in the contest, as Lane Thomas had three hits and four RBIs which came on an RBI single, a two-run double, and an RBI triple, just short of his first career cycle.

Other Nationals batters who came through at the plate include Luis Garcia Jr. launching a three-run homer, Eddie Rosario finishing with two RBIs on a double and a sacrifice fly, C.J. Abrams hitting an RBI double, and Drew Millas hitting his first home run of the season (and second of his career).

Rookie D.J. Herz got the start and struck out five Rockies batters, but was pulled in the fourth inning after giving seven hits, even with Washington up 9-1 at that point. Nevertheless, reliever Dylan Floro was credited with the win and Tanner Rainey finished the last two innings.

Saturday’s contest was highly competitive as it came down to the final inning. With the Nationals up 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, Kyle Finnegan was trying to record another save, but he gave up an RBI single from Colorado’s Brenton Doyle that tied it at 7-7, and then a pitch clock violation with the bases loaded resulted in a walk-off victory for the Rockies.

This made Finnegan the first pitcher in MLB history to lose a game on a pitch clock violation, while Hunter Harvey gave up a home run from Ryan McMahon in the eighth that made it a one-run game, and starter Mitchell Parker had eight strikeouts in six innings.

Batting-wise, the Nationals did their best to stay in the game as they overcame a 4-2 deficit to take the lead in the seventh. Abrams finished with two RBIs which came on a solo home run and an RBI single, while Garcia hit a 438-foot two-run homer in the top of the eighth.

Finally, Washington trailed a majority of Sunday’s contest 1-0 thanks to a solo home run from Colorado’s Michael Toglia in the second inning. That is until the top of the ninth when Thomas hit an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1, and Joey Meneses singling to center and driving in Thomas for the lead.

The Nats offense also went five innings without a hit, until Jacob Young broke up Kyle Freeland’s no-hitter with an infield single in the sixth, and ended up on third base thanks to a wild throw by McMahon.

Pitching-wise, Jake Irvin finished with 10 strikeouts for the second time this season and matched his career-high, while Floro sealed another win, and Finnegan bounced back with his 22nd save of the season.

Next up, Washington will travel a little further west to San Diego to face the Padres for three games on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

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


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