Nationals 3, Twins 2: Another impressive Trevor Williams start, Keibert Ruiz comes up big

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

The Nationals saw another immensely strong start from Trevor Williams on Friday night, as the righty went a quality six innings, leading the way for the Nats before Keibert Ruiz was the hero on a 37-degree night in chilly Minnesota.

“I’m proud of the guys. We didn’t give up. We went out there and played good defense again, which is awesome. Good victory for us.”

— Manager Dave Martinez said postgame

Williams allowed just two runs on four hits and a walk, as Joey Gallo blasted a solo homer to lead off the third inning and Minnesota grabbed a 2-0 lead later that inning. Ryan Jeffers followed up Gallo’s homer with a “gifted” double that landed at the feet of Lane Thomas in some kind of outfield miscommunication between Thomas and center fielder Victor Robles. Jeffers was moved over to third by Michael A. Taylor‘s sac bunt before being brought in by Max Kepler‘s sac fly. That almost seemed like the nail in the coffin.

It was still 2-0 when Williams finished his scoreless sixth inning, but Joey Meneses put Washington on the board with a solo shot in the seventh inning.

It was then a seventh inning, two-out, two-run rally in the eighth that pushed the Nats past Minnesota in stunning fashion.

CJ Abrams got the Nats started with a double, and Thomas grounded Griffin Jax‘s 3-1 hanging sweeper into left field to drive in Abrams, making it a 2-2 tie. The Nats then took advantage of a Trevor Larnach throw that sailed the first baseman, as Ruiz struck a game-winning RBI single into left-center to give the Nats the 3-2 lead that they used to push them past Minnesota.

On the pitching side of things, Erasmo Ramirez (win), Hunter Harvey (set-up/hold), and Kyle Finnegan (save) all notched big scoreless innings out of the bullpen for Washington to give them their sixth win of the season.

“We were huddled under our one little heater we’ve got out there (in the bullpen). Taking the lead there definitely gets us going. You start moving around, get the juices flowing a little bit. It’s exciting. Take the lead late in a game and then shut it down to get the win? You’ve got to enjoy a win like that.”

— Finnegan said postgame

The Nats look ahead to their pair of upcoming weekend afternoon games.

Saturday @ 2:10 p.m. ET: RHP Chad Kuhl vs. RHP Pablo Lopez

Sunday @ 2:10 p.m. ET: LHP Patrick Corbin vs. TBD

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