Nationals 7, Guardians 6: Nats storm back to win it, avoid sweep

The Nationals avoided the sweep Sunday and grabbed their fifth win of the season. This salvage win over the Guardians, had Jeimer Candelario leading the way offensively while Stone Garrett was back in the lineup and made a case to stay in it. This was a come-from-behind win with late inning drama.

Aside from a four-run third inning that only two of the runs were deemed as earned, Patrick Corbin went six innings in his best start of the season and lowered his ERA from an abysmal 7.71 to a 6.30. The Nats had three errors — and two of which occurred in that third inning via Candelario and CJ Abrams, while Cleveland took advantage of the defensive mistakes with RBI hits from Will Brennan (double), Steven Kwan, and Josh Bell (two-RBI double).

Corbin would allow just one hit from there as he worked through the sixth, finishing his day with five hits allowed and no walks, while he struck out four.

And, the Nats continued their season-long trend of grabbing runs in little spurts while four late runs powered them past Cleveland.

Three early

Washington got a run in each of the first three innings. Candelario grabbed an RBI single in the first, while Garrett and Lane Thomas both doubled in the second.

Candelario’s solo homer in the third was en route to a 4-for-5 day at the plate, and he put himself firmly on-track for a 30 home run pace this season.

The comeback

Relieving Corbin was Hobie Harris, who was lucky to let just two runs come across in the seventh after loading the bases with nobody out. An RBI single drove in one but he got out of the inning thanks to a double play that let another run come through, but limited the damage to only two runs.

From there, Washington’s offense had just one hit from innings four through six, but it came back to life in the seventh — when it was well-needed.

Entering the inning down 6-3, Luis Garcia made it a one-run game with a two-run homer off the fence of the second deck.

Then came the drama — after Garrett’s single and Abrams’ walk led off the eighth inning, Victor Robles laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt that moved both over to scoring position. Thomas’ flyball to center fielder Myles Straw then led to a play at the plate on Straw’s throw home, where Garrett was originally called out. But, after a lengthy review, umpires deemed Guardians catcher Mike Zunino blocked Garrett’s lane, and reversed it to him being safe — making it a 6-6 game. We still don’t know if Garrett actually was safe without blocking the plate which many thought he was. Thomas would be credited with the key sacrifice fly.

That was all before Joey Meneses came up big with a game-winning, RBI single to the opposite field that gave Washington the lead.

Mason Thompson (win) had a scoreless eighth out of the bullpen and Kyle Finnegan shut the door with a save in the ninth inning with some great defense from Thomas on a diving catch and Alex Call who was inserted for defense in the ninth inning went into the stands to snag a foul ball for an out.

With that, Washington gears up for their quick two-game series against the Orioles, at home. They have an off-day both Monday and Thursday placed around the series.

Tuesday @ 7:05 p.m. ET: RHP Josiah Gray vs. RHP Dean Kremer

Wednesday @ 7:05 p.m. ET: RHP MacKenzie Gore vs. TBD

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