augusta free press news

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

augusta free press
augusta free press