Gio Gonzalez held the Texas Rangers to one run on three hits in six innings of work on the mound, striking out a season-high nine batters, and the Washington’s hitters, after blowing a few opportunities, finally came through with a three-run sixth that put them ahead, 3-1.
Bryce Harper doubled off starter Martin Perez and scored from third base on a sac fly by Anthony Rendon for the Nationals’ first run, and Adam Lind hit an 0-1 splitter from Rangers’ reliever Tony Barnette over the GEICO wall in center for a two-run home run that put the Nationals ahead.
It was Lind’s fifth home run of 2017... in 84 plate appearances to that point... and he was hitting .342 on the year at that point...
Matt Albers tossed two scoreless in relief and tossed two scoreless before Koda Glover came on for the save and gave up the lead, with Shin-Soo Choo homering to start the frame and Nomar Mazara tying it up with an RBI double off the right field fence, 3-3.
Robinson Chirinos hit a potential sac fly to right in the next at bat, and pinch runner Pete Kozma appeared to beat a strong throw in by Bryce Harper to put the Rangers ahea— nope, Harper nailed Kozma at the plate with a 98+ strike from right field.
Had to be reviewed, but still 3-3...
Bryce Harper's throw was tracked at 98.2 MPH. He's got a good arm.— Daren Willman (@darenw) June 10, 2017
It was still tied at 3-3 in the eleventh when Chirinos hit a three-run blast to left off Shawn Kelley to give the Rangers the lead. 6-3 final.
Nationals now 38-23
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Rangers’ shortstop Elvis Andrus extended his hit streak to 14-straight games with a two-out single in the top of the first, but he was thrown out at second by Nationals’ catcher Jose Lobaton, who caught his 6th runner in 19 attempts on the year (32% CS%).
• Gio Gonzalez was up to 50 pitches and five Ks after he struck out two in a 15-pitch top of the third, completing three scoreless over which he allowed just one hit.
Rangers’ starter Martin Perez matched the Nationals’ lefty with three scoreless of his own on 49 pitches.
• Delino DeShields lined a 1-1 fastball to left for a leadoff double in the Rangers’ half of the fourth, and a walk to Shin-Soo Choo created the first jam of the day for Gonzalez.
DeShields and Choo pulled a double steal with Elvis Andrus at the plate, and a ground ball to short off Andrus’ bat was enough to bring in the first run of the game, 1-0 TX.
• Choo tried to score on a grounder to short in the next at bat, but Trea Turner threw a strike to the plate and Lobaton applied the tag for the second out of the inning and the sixth K of the day for Gonzalez ended a 23-pitch frame and left at 73 pitches total, down 1-0.
• Bryce Harper drew a one-out walk and took second on a line drive single to right by Daniel Murphy in the Nationals’ fourth, but Anthony Rendon send a grounder to third that Adrian Beltre handled, stepping on the bag and throwing to first for an inning-ending 5-3 DP.
• Adam Lind, Michael A. Taylor and Ryan Raburn singled in back-to-back-to-back at bats to start the fifth, bringing Jose Lobaton up with a chance to do some damage, but he popped out to short left for the first out of the frame (after popping up in foul territory off first and getting a second shot when it dropped between Rangers’ first baseman Ryan Rua and left fielder Nomar Mazara).
Gio Gonzalez had a shot to help his own cause, but he went down swinging for the second out of the Nats’ fifth, and Trea Turner worked the count full in the next at bat, but popped out to left. Big missed opportunity.
• Gonzalez set a season-high with his 9th K in a scoreless, 16-pitch sixth that left him at 105 pitches total, still behind, 1-0.
• Bryce Harper lined a first-pitch curve to right for a leadoff double in the Nationals’ half of the sixth, his 15th two-base hit of 2017, and he stumbled out of the gate, but took third on an opposite field single by Daniel Murphy that knocked Perez out of the game.
• Tony Barnette took over on the mound with runners on first and third and no one out and gave up a line drive sac fly to left by Anthony Rendon and a two-run home run to center by Adam Lind in back-to-back at bats, 3-1 Nats. Lind’s fifth.
Friends, Romans, countrymen ... LIND me your pic.twitter.com/TZSMKlipq5— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 10, 2017
• Martin Perez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 98 P, 59 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
• Matt Albers gave up a leadoff single by Adrian Beltre, but struck out the next three batters in a 17-pitch frame. Still 3-1 Nationals.
Albers came back out for the eighth and retired the Rangers in order in a 13-pitch frame.
• Koda Glover gave up a solo home run to center by Shin-Soo Choo on a 1-1 change, 3-2, and Elvis Andrus singled and stole second, putting the tying run on second with no one out. Adrian Beltre walked on a 3-2 slider up high, putting two on with no one out, and Nomar Mazara bounced a game-tying RBI double off the right field wall, 3-3.
Robinson Chirinos hit a fly to right that appeared to score pinch runner Pete Kozma from third, but the call was reviewed and Bryce Harper’s 98+ mph throw in got the runner. Lordy. Still 3-3. 9-2 DP.
• Oliver Perez took over on the mound for Glover and struck Rougned Odor out with th potential go-ahead run at third. 3-3 after eight and a half in D.C.
• Stephen Drew led off the ninth with a pinch hit double off the base of the out-of-town scoreboard in right. Alex Claudio took over on the mound, replacing Jose Leclerc, and struck out Brian Goodwin with pinch runner Wilmer Difo on third, and Trea Turner tried to get a bunt down, but Wilmer Difo froze halfway home and got tagged out.
• Enny Romero tossed a quick, 1-2-3 tenth, on 11 pitches, and came back out for the eleventh, retiring one batter before Shawn Kelley took over.
Kelley struck Elvis Andrus out, but Joey Gallo doubled to right. Nomar Mazara got the intentionals, bringing Robinson Chirinos up, and the catcher hit a three-run blast to left, 6-3 Rangers.
• That’s how it ended.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- This weekend’s three-game set in the third with Texas in D.C. since 1971, though, of course, there was no baseball in the nation’s capital between 1972-2004.
- This afternoon’s game was scheduled for 12:05 PM EDT in part because the Nationals are holding their annual Dream Gala charity event tonight.
- The Nationals, before today, had not been shut out once through the first 60 games of the season. [ed. note - “This is definitely all kinds of jinxy.”]
- The streak of 60 games without a shutout is the longest in franchise history (2005-present). [ed. note - “Again, super-jinxy.”]
- Washington’s offense started the day leading the NL In AVG (.274), OBP (.342), SLG (.467), runs scored (329), home runs (89), hits (tied, 577).
- Texas improved to 10-18 (.357) on the road with last night’s win, though that’s still the 4th-lowest winning percentage in the AL and the seventh-lowest in the majors.
- The Rangers improved to 6-4 against the Nationals in the all-time series between the two teams (2005-present).
- Adrian Beltre is one of only eight players in major league history with home runs in 40 different major league parks, though heading into play today he hadn’t homered in the Nationals’ home.
- Elvis Andrus started play today with a 13-game hits streak going, which is currently the longest active hit streak in the majors.
Nationals now 38-23