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Washington Nationals blow late lead, come right back in 5-2 win over Kansas City Royals

After blowing a 2-0 lead in the top of the eighth, the Nationals rallied to retake the lead in the bottom of the frame and beat the Royals, 5-2 to end the “first half” of the 2019 campaign 47-42.

MLB: JUL 07 Royals at Nationals Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Patrick Corbin has now tossed at least seven innings and allowed one earned run or fewer in a career-best four consecutive starts, tied for the longest such streak in the majors this season with his teammate Max Scherzer, Chicago’s Cole Hamels, and LA’s Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Corbin tossed seven scoreless against the Kansas City Royals this afternoon, striking out 11 of the 25 batters he faced, but he received no decision because the bullpen gave up two in the eighth as the visiting team rallied to tie it at 2-2.

A half-inning after the Royals tied it, the Nationals retook the lead with Adam Eaton singling to center and scoring from first on an RBI double by Anthony Rendon, 3-2, before Rendon and Juan Soto (who reached on an error) scored on a two-run double by Howie Kendrick, 5-2 final.

Corbin vs the Royals: After a rough three-start stretch in which he was (0-3) with an 11.37 ERA, seven walks, 13 Ks, and a .379/.433/.638 line against in 12 23 IP, Nationals’ left-hander Patrick Corbin came back with three strong outings in which he was (2-0) with a 1.29 ERA, four walks, 24 Ks, and a .181/.224/.222 line against in 21 innings before today’s start in the series finale with the Royals in the nation’s capital.

Corbin tossed three scoreless to start, on 44 pitches, striking out six of the first 12 batters he faced.

Alex Gordon and Hunter Dozier connected on back-to-back singles to start the top of the fourth, but Gordon was thrown out at home by Victor Robles on a soft liner to center field by Cheslor Cuthbert with one down, and Corbin got Nicky Lopez to chase a 1-2 slider for out No. 3 of a 27-pitch frame which left him at 71 pitches overall after four scoreless.

Corbin retired seven straight after the out at home on Cuthbert’s single, and he needed just 19 pitches total in the fifth and sixth innings, adding two Ks for nine from 22 batters over six scoreless frames.

He was up to 10-straight Royals set down, 11 Ks, and 104 pitches after he struck out two in a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh that ended his outing.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 Ks, 104 P, 69 S, 4/2 GO/FO.

Junis vs the Nationals: Winless in six starts heading into today’s outing, with a 5.91 ERA, 11 walks, 31 Ks, and a .293/.356/.496 line against in 32 IP in that stretch, Royals’ right-hander Jakob Junis took the mound in Nationals Park hoping to help Kansas City to a series win in the three-game series in D.C.

A two-out solo shot by Brian Dozier in the second gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead, with the Royals’ righty leaving a 1-2 fastball up in the zone that Dozier smoked.

That’s all Junis gave up through six, though he had to work his way out of a two-on, no-out jam in the sixth inning, with Trea Turner doubling and Adam Eaton walking before a 6-4-3 DP off of Anthony Rendon’s bat and a lineout to center by Juan Soto ended a 15-pitch frame in what was still a 1-0 game.

It was 2-0 after seven, however, after Victor Robles hit a hanging 0-1 curve out to left for the second solo shot of the game and a 2-0 lead. No. 13 for Robles.

Jakob Junis’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 98 P, 62 S, 7/2 GO/FO.

Home Run Streak: Kurt Suzuki’s second-inning blast on Saturday extended the Nats’ streak of games with a homer to 20-straight, over which they’d hit 34 home runs total, with Matt Adams (7), Anthony Rendon (6), Juan Soto (5), Kurt Suzuki (5), Brian Dozier (3), Victor Robles (3), Trea Turner (2), Yan Gomes (1), Howie Kendrick (1), and Gerardo Parra (1) all chipping in. Dozier hit his fourth in the last 21 in the second inning this afternoon, extending the streak and giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead early in the series finale with the Royals.

Also, uh, this happened after Dozier’s homer:

BULLPEN ACTION: Fernando Rodney gave up a leadoff single by Martín Maldonado in the top of the eighth, and Maldonado’s pinch runner, Terrance Gore, scored from second two outs later on a soft fly to left by Adalberto Mondesi, 2-1 Nationals.

That was it for Rodney. Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez went to Sean Doolittle for the four-out save, but the Nationals’ closer gave up a game-tying double to right by Alex Gordon on the first he threw and it was tied at 2-2 after seven and a half.

Jake Diekman got the eighth inning for the Royals, and gave up a one-out single by Adam Eaton and an RBI double to left-center by Anthony Rendon that put the Nationals back on top, 3-2, and Rendon and Juan Soto (who reached on an error), scored on a double to left off Howie Kendrick’s bat, 5-2.

Doolittle returned to the mound in the top of the ninth and worked around a one-out single for a scoreless frame. Ballgame.

Nationals now 47-42