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Nats fall victim to long ball, as Blue Jays win opener, 4-1

washington nationalsThe Washington Nationals had 11 hits Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. And hit into four double plays. And stranded 10 runners.

And starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez gave up four solo homers in five innings in what turned into a 4-1 loss for the defending World Series champs.

Who played yet again without Juan Soto, who is still awaiting a second official COVID-19 negative test result, after the team received word Monday that his first official test since testing positive on Thursday had come back negative.

The offense was able to get plenty going in the star’s absence, but wasn’t able to take advantage of all the baserunners – 15 in all, including the 11 hits and four bases on balls.

Washington was just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and baserunning blunders contributed to two of the double plays, on line drives, and kept a run off the board, when Eric Thames mistakenly tagged up from second on a fly ball to the center field wall off the bat of Victor Robles that bounded off the wall for what turned into a long, long single.

Teoscar Hernandez hit two of Toronto’s four homers on the night, leading off the game with a 413-foot shot to right-center, then going deep again to right leading off the fifth off Sanchez (0-1, 7.20 ERA), who struck out seven and walked one in five innings of work, allowing four runs on six hits.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press