Washington Nationals’ right-hander Joe Ross threw 82 pitches in just three innings pitched this afternoon, giving up six hits and seven runs (six earned) before he was lifted from what ended up a 10-4 loss to the A’s in Oakland.
Ross gave up two two-run home runs in the bottom of the first, with both Jed Lowrie and Ryon Healy taking the Nationals’ starter deep to right and center, respectively, 4-0.
Lowrie drove in two more with a double to right off Ross in the second, 6-1, and after a three-run home run by Adam Lind in the third made it a two-run game, the A’s added a run in the home-half of the third, 7-4, and got back-to-back home runs to center field by Yonder Alonso and Healy (again) in the seventh to pad their lead, 10-4.
That’s how it ended. Rubber match tomorrow in Oakland Coliseum with Tanner Roark taking on Sonny Gray at 4:05 PM EDT.
Nationals now 34-20
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Jose Lobaton reached out for a 1-2 sinker from Joe Ross to A’s infielder Chad Pinder and made contact with Pinder’s bat on the swing. Home plate ump Quinn Wolcott got him for catcher’s interference, and the next batter, Jed Lowrie, got Joe Ross on a 3-2 fastball that missed its spot and ended up in the right field seats. 2-0 A’s in the first. Lowrie’s 7th.
• Yonder Alonso beat the shift with a two-out single to left, and Ryon Healy stepped in next and put a charge in a 2-1 sinker, sending the second two-run home run of the first out to center field for a 4-0 lead early in Oakland Coliseum.
• Adam Lind connected for the Nationals’ first hit off A’s right Daniel Mengden in the top of the second, doubling to right, and he took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sac fly to center by Stephen Drew, 4-1 Oakland.
• Ross didn’t quite get a two-strike slider to Lowrie inside in the bottom of the second, and the A’s infielder hit a two-out, two-run double to right to make it a 6-1 game.
• Khris Davis and Chad Pinder let a two-out fly to short left by Daniel Murphy fall in for a hit in the top of the third, and Ryan Zimmerman singled to put two on in front of Adam Lind, who hit a high 2-2 curve to left field for a three-run blast, 6-4 A’s. Lind’s 4th.
• Ross walked the first batter in the bottom of the fourth, however, (Yonder Alonso) and gave up a double to left by Ryon Healy, and an RBI infield single by Stephen Vogt that put the A’s up by three, 7-4.
• Joe Ross’s Line: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 82 P, 47 S, 1/1 GO/FO.
• Michael A. Taylor K’d swinging at an 0-2 fastball after taking a low heater from Liam Hendriks for a called strike two as the Nationals left the bases loaded in the top of the fifth.
• Jacob Turner tossed two scoreless innings on 24 pitches, then came back out for a third inning of work in the sixth, retiring the side in order in a 14-pitch frame. Still 7-4 A’s though...
• Daniel Murphy led the seventh off with a double to left off Daniel Coulombe, but he was thrown out at third trying to take a base on a wild pitch that bounced off the backstop and came right back to catcher Josh Phegley.
• Yonder Alonso and Ryon Healy hit two-run and solo home runs, respectively, off of Turner in the bottom of the seventh, putting the A’s up 10-4 on the Nats. Alonso’s 16th this season. Healy’s second of the game, 11th in 2017.
• Healy’s home run was his fourth hit of the game, two doubles and two home runs.
• Enny Romero finished off the seventh inning, getting Matt Joyce to ground out to end the frame. Still 10-4 A’s. He came back out for the eighth and worked around a leadoff walk for a scoreless frame.
• John Axford finished things off in the ninth. Ballgame. 10-4 A’s final.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Oakland’s loss last night was their second straight, and their sixth in the last seven, leaving them eight games under .500 heading into play today at 23-31.
- Washington’s win last night left them 4-3 against Oakland in the all-time series between the two teams.
- The Nationals’ 34-19 record after last night’s win was the best in the NL, and behind only the Houston Astros (39-16) for the best in MLB.
- The Nationals’ offense started the day leading the majors in runs scored (tied, 299), AVG (.279), OBP (.347), SLG (.480), hits (522), extra-base hits (201), and RBIs (292).
- The A’s started the day having struck out 101 times over their last eight games, setting an Oakland franchise record for strikeouts over an eight-game stretch.’
- Washington’s win in the series opener was their fourth straight to star their nine-game, three-city, West Coast trip.
- Dusty Baker won his 1,800th game as a manager last night, becoming the 16th MLB skipper to reach that plateau, and as the Nationals noted, “twelve of the first 15 managers who reached the milestone before Baker are already in the Hall of Fame.”
Nationals now 34-20