The Washington Nationals evened up this series with a chance to win the series tomorrow, and the Nats did it with a 3-run home run by Gerardo Parra and some great bullpen pitching today. It was the Nationals middle infielders who turned three doubleplays to help their pitchers today. Starting pitcher Erick Fedde bent but didn’t break today after some really tough innings and a high pitch count (85) led to an abbreviated 4.0 inning outing.
When Fedde exited with a 4-2 lead, he handed the game to a bullpen that would have to go 5.0 innings to close this game out. Matt Grace was the first man out of the ‘pen, and he handed the ball to Tanner Rainey. It was Rainey who earned the win and Wander Suero earned a 2.0 inning hold and Sean Doolittle had the 9th inning save. In all, the bullpen threw a 5.0 inning shutout to seal the deal and get their ERA back below 7.00 to 6.85.
For the offense, all of the Nationals’ runs came from home runs as Parra who was 3-4 in the game had the big blast and Matt Adams made the lead two-runs with a mammoth blast, and Brian Dozier made it the final margin with his home run to finish the game at a 5-2 score.
Manager Dave Martinez managed well from the start with putting Parra in centerfield to put that lefty pressure on Tanner Roark, and it immediately paid dividends in Parra’s first at-bat. Davey also gave Fedde some rope to pitch into the 5th inning and pulled him immediately when Fedde gave up a lead-off single. The only move that was questionable was pitching Wander Suero for two innings in which he threw 30-pitches.
One of Roark’s positives this season was keeping the baseball in the field of play as he had only given up two home runs, and the Nats got him for two home runs today. It was the newest Nats’ addition who put the L on him.
With this win, the Nats have now won six of their last eight games, and have a chance to win another series tomorrow in the Cincinnati finale.