Nats’ bats finally come to life: Four-run 10th inning lifts Washington to win

washington nationalsMax Scherzer gave Washington seven and a third shutout innings, but the game with Toronto – the home team in Nats Park – would come down to a bang-bang play at second base in the 10th.

Andrew Stevenson beat Cavan Biggio to the bag on a two-out, bases-loaded roller off the bat of Adam Eaton to get the Nats on the board, and Asdrubal Cabrera cleared the bases with a three-run triple, to lift Washington to a 4-0 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Scherzer (0-1, 2.84 ERA) gave up three hits, struck out 10 and walked three, but he needed some help.

After giving up a leadoff single to Joe Panik to start the eighth, he was lifted following a one-out walk to Derek Fisher.

With runners on first and third and the infield in, Teoscar Hernandez grounded sharply up the middle.

Nats shortstop Trea Turner made a diving stop to start a 6-4-3 double play that ended the threat.

After a scoreless ninth sent the game to extras, the new MLB extra-inning rule that begins innings with a runner on second came into play for the first time in a Washington game this season, with Emilio Bonifacio the man in scoring position.

Carter Kieboom and Andrew Stevenson each worked walks from Toronto reliever Shun Yamaguchi (0-2, 36.00 ERA), who battled back with strikeouts of Victor Robles and Trea Turner.

Eaton, batting with two outs, hit a slow roller on a first-pitch changeup. Biggio’s only play was to try to get Stevenson on a force at second, but Stevenson nudged ahead of him to the bag, on a call that was upheld on replay.

Cabrera tripled on a 3-1 fastball that he turned down the right field line.

Tanner Rainey pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the win for the Nats (2-4), who will be the road team at Nats Park again on Thursday for the series finale with the Blue Jays, who are without a home for 2020, because Canada won’t let them back in the country.

And, no, I would not have imagined any of this to have been possible four months ago.

Well, except for the part about Scherzer.

Story by Chris Graham


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