Washington and Anaheim traded home runs with four blasts, two by each team over the first six innings tonight. It was tied at 2-2 in the eighth inning in Angel Stadium when Bryce Harper lined a triple to right field to lead off the inning (4 for 4) before scoring on a Ryan Zimmerman single that put the Nationals up 4-2 in what ended up a 4-3 win.
Edwin Jackson, called up this afternoon after a solid stint at Triple-A in the Nationals’ system, held the Angels to two runs on three hits, two of them home runs (one each by Mike Trout and Martin Maldonado), over seven strong innings of work, throwing 91 pitches total on the night.
New Nats’ reliever Ryan Madson came on in the bottom of the eighth, and retired the Angels in order in a 15-pitch frame, and Adam Lind hit the fifth home run of the game in the top of the ninth to put the Nationals up 4-2.
Sean Doolittle walked C.J. Cron in his first at bat with the Nats, and gave up a double and a run, 4-3, before he popped up Albert Pujols to end it.
Nationals now 57-36
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Bryce Harper extended his current hit streak to 13-straight games with a solo home run with two out in the first, sending a 1-0 fastball from Angels’ starter Jesse Chavez to center to put the Nationals up 1-0 early in Anaheim. Harper’s 24th.
• Not to be outdone, Mike Trout hit a two-out home run of his own in the bottom of the first, taking one out to deep, deep center field off Edwin Jackson for his 17th of 2017, and his first since returning from a prolonged DL stint, which tied it up at 1-1 after one.
• Chavez and Jackson tossed three scoreless each after the first inning blast, with E-Jax setting ten in a row down after Trout’s home run, still 1-1. A 1-2-3 fifth gave the Nationals’ starter 13-straight outs.
• Bryce Harper was 2 for 2 with a home run and a single after a liner to left in the third, but he was thrown out at second trying to stretch his second hit into a double. He was 3 for 3 after he hit a single to right in the sixth.
• Jackson’s streak of 13-straight retired Angels ended with a line drive blast to left by Martin Maldonado, who hit a 2-1 slider out over the low outfield fence in Angel Stadium, 2-1.
• Anthony Rendon tied it back up when he hit an 0-1 fastball from Chavez out to left for a no-doubter to lead off the seventh. Rendon’s 20th. 2-2 in Anaheim. A hard-hit single by Adam Lind ended Chavez’s night after 81 pitches.
Anthony Rendon entered tonight's game as the NL leader in fWAR.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 19, 2017
... and he's gone 2-for-3 with a HR. pic.twitter.com/I2dsu0eGkV
• Jesse Chavez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 81 P, 55 S, 6/4 GO/FO.
• Blake Parker took over for the Angels with a runner on first and no one out and gave up a one-out walk to Chris Heisey. Lind advanced to third on a fly to right field by Brian Goodwin, but Wilmer Difo went down swinging to end the threat. Still 2-2.
• Bryce Harper was 4 for 4 on the night after he tripled to right to start the eighth, taking a 2-2 slider from Cam Bedrosian into the corner, and he scored on a single to center by Ryan Zimmerman to put the Nationals ahead, 3-2.
And if Harper had reached second safely in the third, he’d have hit for the cycle with the three-bagger.
• Edwin Jackson’s Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 91 P, 57 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
• Ryan Madson made his Nationals debut in the eighth, retiring the side in order in a 15-pitch frame.
• Adam Lind’s third hit of the night was a solo shot to center off Angels’ reliever Keynan Middleton that put the Nationals up 4-2 in the ninth.
• Sean Doolittle’s Nationals debut began with a four-pitch walk to C.J. Cron, and one out later, Kole Calhoun doubled off the top of the right field fence to put runners on second and third with one out.
Mike Trout brought in a run with a groundout, 4-3, but Doolittle got a fly to left from Albert Pujols to end it. Phew. Final Score: 4-3 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Heading into this week’s two-game set, Washington had dropped five of their last six against LA (AL), and they were 4-8 in the all-time series with the Angels (2005-present).
- Washington hit 13 home runs over the course of the Nationals’ four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in Great American Ball Park.
- LA’s Angels have scored 15 runs over their last over their last seven games.
- Ryan Zimmerman passed Vladimir Guerrero for the franchise (Montreal/Washington) home run record on Monday, and he’s now two home runs away from tying Senators’ slugger Frank Howard for the most home runs in D.C. baseball history.
- Anthony Rendon started tonight’s game ranked second in the majors in fWAR at 4.9, behind only the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (5.2 fWAR).
- In today’s Rendon-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Rendon is 35 for 84 (.417 AVG) with nine doubles, eight home runs, 18 walks, and 20 runs scored... since June 15th.
- Bryce Harper started the series with a 12-game hit streak going, over which he was 20 for 47 with three doubles and five home runs. He extended it to 13-straight with a home run in the first. Anthony Rendon had an 11-game hit streak (18 for 38, five doubles, three homers), which he extended with a one-out single in the second, and Wilmer Difo had an eight-game hit streak, over which he was 12 for 24 with two doubles.
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in AVG (.279), OBP (.347), SLG (.475), hits (904), extra-base hits (342), doubles (189), and runs scored (521).
Nationals now 57-36