Angels 3, Nationals 2: Nats drop another close one

The Nationals fell in their third contest out of the last four on Wednesday on getaway day, as MacKenzie Gore lasted just 3 2/3 innings on the mound while Washington only salvaged two runs off Griffin Canning and the Angels to drop to 4-8 on the year.

The Halos would get on the board first, as Brett Phillips stole third base and Keibert Ruiz‘s throw went past third base and into left field, allowing Phillips to lightly jog home and give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead.

The Nats responded to that, as they led off the fourth inning with four straight singles from Jeimer Candelario, Dominic Smith, Joey Meneses (RBI), and Keibert Ruiz, and it was followed by Luis Garcia — who returned to the lineup — grounding out to drive in the go-ahead run. They couldn’t add to their 2-1 lead despite two in scoring position with one out, though, as Lane Thomas and CJ Abrams went down on strikes to retire the side.

In the home half of the inning the Halos would force Gore, who was up to 88 pitches, out of the ballgame. The right-hander loaded the bases on a pair of singles from Luis Rengifo and Brandon Drury, and a free pass on balls to Hunter Renfroe, and despite retiring the previous two batters in both Gio Urshela and Logan O’Hoppe via strikeouts, Gore walked Phillips to make it a 2-2 ballgame, and force Mason Thompson to get out of the jam.

Washington’s bullpen was strong from there. Thompson allowed just a run through 1 2/3 innings, while Hunter Harvey acquired the final two outs of the sixth for Thompson. Carl Edwards Jr. and Erasmo Ramirez then hurled back-to-back scoreless innings.

But, the Nats couldn’t get anything going offensively, forcing the Halos’ run in the sixth off Thompson to be the winning run. Brandon Drury led off the inning with a double before being driven in by an RBI single from O’Hoppe, which gave the Angels the 3-2 lead that they never looked back on.

After scoring in the fourth inning, from that point on the Nats only got one hit in the final five innings of the ballgame, as the eighth-best bullpen in baseball ERA-wise carried Los Angeles to the finish line.

With that, the Nats get a day off Thursday and look ahead to the upcoming weekend set, as they return home to face the Guardians.

Friday @ 7:05 p.m. ET: RHP Trevor Williams vs. RHP Cal Quantrill

Saturday @ 4:05 p.m. ET: RHP Chad Kuhl vs. RHP Zach Plesac

Sunday @ 1:05 p.m. ET: RHP Patrick Corbin vs. RHP Shane Bieber

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