“We were aggressive in the attack zone, there were not many chases, and with two attacks we stayed really well in the middle of the field,” said manager Dave Martinez. “And it was like scoring races.”
While the Nats’ bats flutter, the view mashes Luis Garcia in moles. But there is a catch.
The Nationals and Giants have known each other recently – San Francisco swept Washington in a three-game series last week. Alex Wood knocked Aaron Sanchez out as the Giants won a 5-2 victory on Saturday, but with the same pitching matchup on Friday, the Nationals made the correct adjustments a second time and kept their strong slaughterhouse running against the Giants’ bullpen.
Juan Soto offered a taste of the offensive fireworks that came on top of the first with a 108.3 mph rope from Wood into the Giants’ bullpen for his fourth home run of the season – all solo shots.
Washington scored four more runs over the next two innings, a result of timely hits from the back half of their lineup that have battled together this season. Robles and Alcides Escobar both recorded two-out RBI singles in the second inning to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead.
When the Giants scored two runs in the second inning via a Jason Vosler homerun, Franco responded with an RBI double, and Lane Thomas put an infield RBI single at the top of the third to push the Nationals’ advantage back to three. By the end of the third, Washington had scored more runs (5) than it had in any of its previous nine games.
“I liked that we scored, we came back, we jumped on them again, we came back and jumped on them again,” Martinez said. “That’s a good sign.”
The lead was more than enough for Sanchez, who got his second start of the season against his former team. Sanchez surrendered home runs to Austin Slater and Vosler early, but was relatively stable, spreading six hits over five innings and allowing another run on a Luis González victim flight in the fifth inning.
Patrick Corbin is better, Nats’ offensive is worse, and shit hits eight
The Giants reduced the Nationals’ lead to 5-3 before Washington started a scoring blocking fire at the top of the sixth. César Hernández hit singles to run in Robles, Soto smashed a ball off the brick wall in the right field to run in a teammate for the first time all year, and Nelson Cruz and Bell each added an RBI later in the inning to increase the Nationals’ lead to 9-3. Two innings later, Washington turned around and scored five more runs, including four with two outs in the frame.
Friday’s game was a positive step for the top three strikers in the Nationals’ lineup – Thomas, Robles and Escobar. Thomas had two hits, Escobar had three after taking timeout to work on his turn, but Robles had the best night of them all. Robles’ two-out RBI double in the eighth was his final stroke of the match, increasing his batting average from .152 to .216 in one night.
“I’ve made the adjustments that have worked for me lately,” Robles said through an interpreter. “It’s worked, so I’ll keep doing it.”
The Nationals participated with a team stroke average of .218 with runners in scoring position, 22nd in the majors, but finished 11th-23rd on Friday.