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Washington Nationals 12-6 over Minnesota Twins to take 2 of 3 in Target Field

It got interesting in the end, but the Nationals held on for a 12-6 win over the Twins and took 2 of 3 in Target Field.

Washington Nationals v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin held the Minnesota Twins to three runs on nine hits in six innings, and the Washington Nationals scored early and often in the series finale in Target Field, in a 12-6 victory that gave the visitors 2 of 3 on the road in Minneapolis.

Anthony Rendon homered in the first, No. 33 of 2019, walked twice, and drove in two runs with his 42nd double of the season in the sixth, pacing the Nationals’ offense, which got a solo shot from Adam Eaton (No. 14), and a two-run blast by Juan Soto as well (No. 34) in a big win on the road.

Corbin vs the Twins: Patrick Corbin put together a 12-start unbeaten streak between June 19th and August 21st, posting a 2.12 ERA, 22 walks, 90 Ks, and a .217/.273/.337 line against over 76 13 IP. He took a loss in an August 27th outing against the Baltimore Orioles though, in spite of giving up just two runs on four hits in seven innings, and heading into tonight’s start, he was (1-2) in his last three, with a 3.00 ERA, nine walks, 26 Ks, and a .164/.270/.328 line against in his last 18 IP.

Tonight in Target Field, Corbin took the mound with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a solo home run by Anthony Rendon in the top of the first inning, and gave up a one-out double to right by Luis Arraez, who moved up on a fly to right, and scored on a two-out single to right field by Eddie Rosario, 1-1.

Back-to-back singles and a popped up sac bunt, (on which Corbin reacted poorly, settling for an out at first base when it looked like he could’ve gotten two), put runners on second and third with one out, but the left-hander got out No. 2 on a play at home on a grounder out to short with Willians Astudillo running on contact, and out No. 3 on a Mitch Garver grounder to third to work out of a jam.

It was 3-1 Nationals in the third when Nelson Cruz hit a 3-2 fastball from Corbin to center for a no-doubter of a 454 ft home run that made it a one-run game, 3-2. This one was crushed...

After working around a one-out single in the fourth, it was 6-2 Nationals when Corbin came out for the bottom of the fifth and gave up a leadoff double to center by Mitch Garver, who scored one out later on an RBI single by Cruz, 6-3, but the Twins stranded two batters in a 25-pitch frame that left Corbin at 92 total.

With the score 10-3 after five and a half, Corbin came back out for the sixth and retired the side in order in an eight-pitch frame.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 100 P, 65 S, 12/3 GO/FO.

Gibson vs the Nationals: Kyle Gibson returned to the mound tonight for the first time this month, after a rough stretch in August (6.27 ERA, 12 BBs, 28 Ks, .309/.367/.485 line against in 33 IP) and a bout of ulcerative colitis, which followed after the right-hander contracted E. coli, “in the Caribbean during a volunteering trip,” this Spring, as noted by writer Do-Hyoung Park.

Returning to the rotation tonight, Gibson gave up a two-out solo shot by Anthony Rendon in the top of the first, on a 95 MPH 1-0 fastball the Nationals’ No. 3 hitter hit out to left-center in Target Field for his 33rd home run of the 2019 campaign and a 1-0 lead early in the series finale.

Trea Turner doubled to start the third, after the Twins tied it up in the home-half of the first, and Adam Eaton singled to right in the next at bat. With runners on the corners and no one out, Anthony Rendon walked to load the bases. Juan Soto grounded into a force at second that brought in a run, 2-1, and beat the throw to first to avoid a double play. Howie Kendrick K’d swinging in the next at bat, but Asdrúbal Cabrera hit a two-out single to center to make it a 3-1 game.

It was 3-2 in the fifth when Adam Eaton lined a 1-1 slider from Gibson out to right field for a leadoff blast that made it a two-run Nationals’ lead, 4-2. Eaton’s 14th.

Asdrúbal Cabrera hit a two-out triple to right later in the inning, scoring Juan Soto from first to put the Nats up 5-2 and end Gibson’s night...

Kyle Gibson’s Line: 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 93 P, 57 S, 5/0 GO/FO.

RendOBP: Anthony Rendon walked the first time up last night in Minnesota, in the 2nd of 3 with the Twins in Target Field, extending his on-base streak to 26-straight games, over which the 29-year-old third baseman was 40 for 102 (.392/.471/.706) with 11 doubles, seven home runs, and 14 walks (vs 11 Ks) in 119 plate appearances going back to August 13th. He extended the streak to 27-in-a-row with a two-out solo shot to left-center the first time up against Kyle Gibson tonight, 1-0 after a 1/2-inning.

BULLPEN ACTION: Cody Stashak took over with Asdrúbal Cabrera on third and two out in the fifth, and uncorked a wild one that got away from catcher Mitch Garver, allowing the runner to score and make it a 6-2 game.

Kohl Stewart got the ball for the Twins in the top of sixth inning, and gave up a leadoff double to right by Victor Robles, a one-out walk to Trea Turner, and a two-out, two-run double to left by Anthony Rendon, 8-3.

Juan Soto went all the way the other way in the next at bat, sending his 34th of the 2019 campaign screaming out to left field on a line, 10-3.

Stewart worked around a single and HBP for a scoreless seventh.

Hunter Strickland came on in relief of Patrick Corbin in the bottom of the seventh inning and worked around a one-out walk for a scoreless frame.

Trevor Hildenberg tossed a scoreless eighth for the Twins.

Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer off Aaron Barrett in the bottom of the eighth, 10-5 Nats. It didn’t get better for Barrett, who gave up a single and a walk after the home run.

Barrett fell behind 3-0 on Lamont Wade, Jr. as well, and gave up an RBI single that ended the righty’s outing.

Fernando Rodney took over with two on and one out and walked Jason Castro to load the bases in front of Nelson Cruz, who K’d swinging over a 1-2 changeup for out No. 2, before Jorge Polanco went down swinging as well, on another 1-2 change.

Hildenberg hit Victor Robles with two out in the top of the ninth, and Yan Gomes followed with a two-run blast that made it 12-6 Nationals. No. 10 for Gomes.

Javy Guerra got the bottom of the ninth and with some help from a diving Victor Robles in center, retired the Twins in order to end it. Ballgame.

Final Score: 12-6 Nats

Nationals now 81-64