Tanner Roark was sharp, throwing a biting curve and locating his fastball, including the break-back, two-seamer inside to lefties, but he made two mistakes, on a 1-0 fastball to Angels’ third baseman Luis Valbuena in the fourth, and a 2-0 fastball to Kole Calhoun in the fifth, and both of them left the yard as Los Angeles battled back from a 2-0 deficit and took the second of two in Washington, D.C., 3-2 over the Nationals.
Roark ended up going seven innings, giving up five hits, two walks, and three earned runs overall.
Ryan Zimmerman got the Nationals on the board early with his 28th home run of 2017, a two-run blast off Angels’ righty Ricky Nolasco, but the two runs he drove in were the only ones the Nationals scored in the loss to the Angels.
Nationals now 71-47
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Wilmer Difo extended his personal hit streak to 11-straight games (14 for 38, .368 AVG) with a one-out single in the bottom of the first, and one out later, Difo scored when Ryan Zimmerman hit a 94 mph 1-0 fastball from Ricky Nolasco out to left-center for home run No. 28 on the year by the Nationals’ first baseman, 2-0 early.
• Tanner Roark retired six of the first seven hitters he faced, then worked around a one-out walk in the third, starting a 1-6-3 DP to end a 13-pitch frame at 45 pitches after three scoreless.
• Washington left the bases loaded after getting two on with no one out in the home-half of the fourth inning, and LA’s third baseman Luis Valbuena cut the Nationals’ lead in half with one swing, hitting a 1-0 fastball from Roark over the wall in center field for a solo shot that made it 2-1 Nationals.
• Mike Trout kept the Angels’ sixth alive with a two-out single to center then scored on a two-out, two-run home run to right by Kole Calhoun, who crushed a 2-0 fastball from Roark and hit his 14th of 2017 out to right field, 3-2 LAA.
• Ricky Nolasco left the mound with an injury in a two-out at bat against Jose Lobaton, replaced by Jesse Chavez, who struck the Nats’ catcher out to end the bottom of the inning.
• Ricky Nolasco’s Line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 112 P, 66 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
• Michael A. Taylor made a diving catch in left-center field, robbing Angels’ catcher Juan Graterol of an extra-base hit into the gap and collecting the final out of the seventh for Tanner Roark.
• Tanner Roark’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 97 P, 60 S, 11/3 GO/FO.
• Chavez came back out for a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Sammy Solis retired the Angels in order in a six-pitch eighth.
• Ryan Zimmerman singled with one down in the Nationals’ half of the eighth, but got thrown out going for third base on an Adam Lind grounder to first that bounced off C.J. Cron’s glove and went right to Angels’ second baseman Kaleb Cowart, who threw a strike to third to get Zim there.
• Sammy Solis (two quick outs) and Joe Blanton combined for a scoreless top of the ninth. Angels’ closer Cam Bedrosian came on for the save opportunity and walked Michael A. Taylor to start the inning. Jose Lobaton bunted Taylor over to second, before a Matt Wieters’ grounder moved him to third, but Howie Kendrick grounded out to end it. Final Score: 3-2 Angels.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington dropped five of six games with the LA Angels between 2011-2014, and after last night’s win, they were just 6-9 against the Angels in the all-time series (2005-present).
- Washington’s 35-24 record in Nationals Park this season is the fourth-best in the NL, and the Nats’ 36-22 road record is the third-best in the majors.
- Howie Kendrick started the days 17 for 44 (.386 AVG) with three doubles and four home runs since joining the Nationals on July 28th.
- Wilmer Difo started the day with a 10-game hit streak going, over which he was 13 for 37 (.351 AVG), with a double, triple, and five walks over the course of his streak... and he singled in his first at bat to extend it to 11-straight.
- Washington’s bullpen additions at the trade deadline (Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson, and Sean Doolittle) have combined for a 1.50 ERA in 30 IP since joining the Nationals.
- Washington’s offense started the day leading the NL in AVG (.275), SLG (.471), runs scored (631), hits (1,119), and extra-base hits (429).
Nationals now 71-47