Guardians 4, Nationals 3: Bullpen can’t hold despite impressive Trevor Williams start

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 14: Carl Edwards Jr. #58 of the Washington Nationals commits an error trying to field the ball hit by Andres Gimenez #0 (not pictured) of the Cleveland Guardians in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on April 14, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Nationals fell to 4-10 Friday night to open a three-game weekend series with the Guardians. Trevor Williams pitched five nearly flawless innings but was kept in for the sixth, and that’s where troubles began.

Luis Garcia got the Nats on the board in the fourth inning, as he swatted a solo homer into left-center field, and Washington kept the rally going after that. Keibert Ruiz and Lane Thomas singled before Alex Call drove in both with a two-run single that gave the Nats a 3-0 lead.

However, the Nationals had just two hits after that, as they couldn’t hang on to their 3-0 lead.

Williams had a very impressive start, scoreless through five innings but yielded a pair of hits to start the sixth and was pulled from there. He finished his day allowing just one run on four hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.

Hunter Harvey would easily get out of the sixth for Williams thanks to a double play though allowed a run, but he ran into his own troubles in the seventh. He served up a solo homer to former National Josh Bell — who got a standing ovation before his first plate appearance — to lead off the inning, and after a single he yielded two straight walks before being pulled by Carl Edwards Jr.

With the bases loaded, Edwards made it three straight walks as he let aboard the first batter he faced to make it a 3-3 game, though got out of the inning on a popup from Josh Naylor, stranding the loaded bases.

Edwards continued the troubles in the seventh, as he began the inning with a fielding error of his own and a double from Bell put two in scoring position. The Guardians were able to take a 4-3 lead then on a groundout despite the infield being home — as there was no play at home, which ended up being the winning run.

Hobie Harris hurled a 1-2-3 ninth that was then mooted by Washington’s two hits in the final five inings.

With that, here’s the schedule for the rest of the series.

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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