The Washington Nationals came into this brief two game series against the Tampa Bay Rays looking to get a bad taste out of their mouth after losing three out of four in Atlanta over the weekend. Washington did that, and then some.
Tuesday night, Max Scherzer was nothing short of spectacular, striking out thirteen Rays over eight innings, including an immaculate sixth inning, throwing nine pitches, all of which were strikes. Meanwhile, the Nationals scored the first four runs of the game, three of which came by way of Wilmer Difo. Difo hit an RBI fielder’s choice in the second, tripled in the fourth, and later scored on a wild pitch by Tampa Bay starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. The Rays attempted a comeback in the eight inning, leading it off with singles by Matt Duffy and Carlos Gomez, both of whom were driven home on a double by Brad Miller to cut the Washington lead in half at 4-2. Fortunately, this would be all the offense Tampa could muster, as Scherzer and Sean Doolittle combined to retire the rest for a 4-2 Nationals victory, clinching a split in the series.
Wednesday was Anthony Rendon’s twenty eighth birthday. How did he celebrate? By going 4 for 5, driving in three runs and scoring four as the Nationals offense exploded for fifteen hits in an 11-2 rout of the Rays to complete their sixth sweep of the season, but just the second sweep at Nationals Park. Washington received production from nearly the entire lineup this afternoon, as Pedro Severino and Brian Goodwin were the only two Nats that did not get a hit. Four Nats had multi hit games Wednesday: Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, and Michael A Taylor. The pair of wins also improved the Nationals record to an unblemished 5-0 in interleague play.
The Nationals scored a combined 15 runs in the series, but only 1 was on a home run.
The Nationals will have a day off and conclude this brief homestand against the San Francisco Giants this weekend.
LET’S GO CAPS