clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Washington Nationals’ lineup for series opener with the Tampa Bay Rays...

Washington’s Nationals took both games with the Tampa Bay Rays in D.C. earlier this month, now they play two more in Florida under AL rules.

Washington Nationals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Washington’s three-run eighth last night in Nationals Park completed a comeback from a 6-2 deficit and avoided a three-game sweep after the Philadelphia Phillies took two straight in the matchup between the NL East rivals.

Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez wasn’t surprised to see his team fight like they did.

“We feel like we’re in every game, we really do, and they showed it tonight,” Martinez said.

“Very proud of the boys. They don’t quit. Good to see the at bats there late. [Bryce Harper] swung the bat really well. They all did. You can see [Daniel Murphy] starting to come around a little bit better. He’s running first to third, good at bat by [Brian Goodwin], pinch hitting, everybody, and then [Anthony] Rendon, and the defense there at the end was phenomenal, a couple great plays by [Wilmer] Difo, one by Rendon, and so that’s — you look at that game right there, and that’s how you win championships, just keep playing like that.”

It wasn’t easy, of course. Martinez was asked if the way things went down could provide his team with momentum going forward.

“This is a great win for us,” the manager said.

“We weren’t scoring very many runs, and to come out and compete like we did today and put up eight runs and play the defense we played, and just really work good at bats, felt really good for the boys, and I know they’ll feed off it. For me, I’ve said this before, you’ve got to have patience, stick to the process, and these guys are all pretty good hitters, and they’ll come out of it, and we’re going to bunch up some hits and score some runs, and things will change.”

Would the way the series with the Phillies ended, after an 8:07 start on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, and a rain delay, make the late night flight to Tampa Bay, FL and the quick series, which ends with a 12:10 game on Tuesday, a little more bearable?

“I don’t want to say it’s bearable, but we know we’ve got to play,” Martinez said.

“We’re going to get in late, but the boys know what they need to do. The good thing is — the best thing about going to Tampa, is that you’re going to go the ballpark, it’s 72 degrees and you know you’re going to play the game, there’s no rain.”