The Nationals clinched their first series of the season this weekend, grabbing a 10-4 win over the Twins in Minnesota Saturday — they look for the series sweep Sunday afternoon and their third straight win for the first time of the season.
Both Friday and Saturday were the coldest games in Nats history — with Saturday (35 degrees) topping Friday (37 degrees).
Joey Meneses went 4-for-6 on the day and beat out an infield single in the first inning that drove in one before Jeimer Candelario scored later in the inning on a passed ball. Meneses and Luis Garcia struck RBI singles in the following inning as Washington built up an early 4-0 lead.
Chad Kuhl allowed just one run, but lasted only two outs into the fourth — he was 96 pitches in before being pulled, finishing with 3 2/3 innings, yielding one run on three hits and four walks while striking out five. The one run came off a Byron Buxton solo homer.
Washington though made it a 5-1 game in the fourth, as Victor Robles led off the inning and scored on Candelario’s sac fly.
Some poor defense however would cost the Nats a run in the fifth — Joey Gallo struck out but Riley Adams, who got the start behind the plate on Keibert Ruiz‘s day off, made an errant throw to work his way on base, before being driven in by a Carlos Correa RBI single.
Mason Thompson went 2 1/3 allowing no earned runs, though Hobie Harris let a pair of runs come across in the seventh. He let aboard Correa and Jorge Polanco via hits and Trevor Larnach drove in both with his two-run double to cut Minnesota’s deficit to 8-4.
But, earlier in the seventh, CJ Abrams came through with a three-run homer, his first of the season and his first with Washington. Robles and Candelario would also add to their days in the ninth with RBI hits to give the Nats a 10-4 lead.
Carl Edwards Jr. and Anthony Banda then hurled back-to-back innings out of the bullpen in the eighth and ninth to shut the door for the Nats.
The two sides prepare for the series finale tomorrow night at an identical 2:10 start time.
Sunday @ 2:10 p.m. ET: LHP Patrick Corbin vs. RHP Bailey Ober