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Washington Nationals clinch home field in NL Wild Card Game with 10-7 win over Cleveland Indians

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Tuesday night’s NL Wild Card Game will take place in the nation’s capital after the Nationals locked up home field advantage with tonight’s win.

Cleveland Indians v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

With a nine-run second inning that knocked Cleveland Indians’ starter Adam Plutko out of the game, the Washington Nationals built up a big lead, and hung on for a 10-7 win in the nation’s capital which locked up the home field advantage in this coming Tuesday night’s NL Wild Card Game.

Corbin vs Cleveland: Patrick Corbin was a hard-luck loser in a less-than-stellar outing on September 6th against the Atlanta Braves, which saw Washington’s 30-year-old lefty give up just three hits and two runs (1 ER), while walking a season-high six batters in what ended up a 4-3 loss in SunTrust Park.

Corbin was unbeaten in three starts that followed, however, heading into this afternoon’s outing against Cleveland in the nation’s capital, with a 2.00 ERA, eight walks, 20 Ks, and a .246/.325/.348 line against in 18 IP in that stretch, leaving him with a 3.05 ERA, 68 walks, 230 Ks, and a .223/.289/.361 line against in 32 starts and 197 23 IP, over which he’d gone (14-7) with the Nationals 20-12 in his outings.

After tossing two scoreless on 27 pitches today, Corbin came out for the third inning with a 9-0 lead, and the lefty worked around a leadoff double and a passed ball, striking out three batters in a row to strand the runner at third, but an opposite field liner to right in the first at bat of the fourth cleared the out-of-town scoreboard for a home run by Jordan Luplow, 9-1.

A double by Franmil Reyes, walk by Yu Chang with one out, and a three-run home run by Eric Haase followed as the Indians tried to make a game of it, 9-4.

It was 10-4 Nationals when Corbin came back out in the fifth, at 78 pitches, and gave up a one-out walk by Luplow and a two-run home run by Reyes, 10-6. No. 37 for Reyes.

That was it for Corbin...

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks, 3 HRs, 94 P, 59 S, 5/0 GO/FO.

Plutko vs D.C.: In five starts in September heading into his final regular season outing this afternoon in the nation’s capital, Adam Plutko posted a 3.96 ERA, 10 walks, 19 strikeouts, and a .276/.343/.459 line against in 25 IP, leaving the 2013 Indians’ 11th Round pick (7-4) in 20 games (19 starts) and 108 IP on the season, over which he had a 4.25 ERA, a 5.23 FIP, 24 walks, 75 Ks, and a .258/.301/.480 line against.

Plutko tossed a scoreless first vs the Nationals today, stranding Trea Turner (double) and Adam Eaton after they both reached base to start the bottom of the inning, but the first batters in the second both reached as well, with Ryan Zimmerman and Gerardo Parra both singling to start the home-half of the inning before a walk by Yan Gomes and RBI single by Patrick Corbin gave the Nats an early lead, 1-0.

Adam Eaton hit a pop to short left one out later, and it fell in for a hit in spite of a sprinting, barehand attempt by Francisco Lindor, 2-0.

Anthony Rendon followed with a liner to left for a two-run double, and a 4-0 lead. No. 44 for Rendon. Juan Soto got an intentional walk to load them back up with one down, and an RBI single by Asdrúbal Cabrera made it a 5-0 game. That was it for Plutko.

Adam Plutko’s Line: 1.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 48 P, 29 S, 0/1 GO/FO.

Turner is Streaking: Trea Turner started today’s game with a 10-game hit streak going, over which the Nationals’ 26-year-old shortstop was 16 for 46 (.348/.375/.783) with five doubles, five home runs, two walks, and 12 runs scored. Turner extended it to 11-straight games with a double in his first at bat, sending a grounder out to left field for his 37th two-base hit of the 2019 campaign.

BULLPEN ACTION: Hunter Wood took over for the Indians with the bases loaded in the home-half of the second and got one out without any damage, but Gerardo Parra stepped up next and hit a fastball to center that cleared the outfield wall for a grand slam and a 9-0 Nats’ lead. No. 9 of 2019 for Parra.

Former Nationals’ pitcher Jefry Rodriguez, who was dealt to the Indians in the Yan Gomes trade this past winter, came on for Cleveland in the third, and retired the side in order in a quick, nine-pitch frame.

Rodriguez came out for another inning of work in the bottom of the fourth, and gave up a one-out double by Juan Soto, a walk by Asdrúbal Cabrera, and an RBI single to left field by Ryan Zimmerman, 10-4.

Wander Suero took over for Patrick Corbin with the score 10-6 in the Nationals’ favor in the fifth and walked the first batter he faced before recording the final two outs of the top of the inning.

Indians’ righty James Hoyt worked around a leadoff single by Andrew Stevenson (who got thrown out trying to steal second) and a two-out walk to Adam Eaton in a scoreless bottom of the fifth.

Javy Guerra worked around a one-out single in a scoreless 11-pitch sixth to keep it 10-6 in the home team’s favor.

Dan Otero tossed a quick, 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth to keep the Indians within four runs.

Fernando Rodney came on in the seventh and gave up back-to-back walks to Jordan Luplow and Greg Allen, then got a force at second base and an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP to escape a 15-pitch top of the inning. Still 10-6.

Phil Maton retired the Nationals in order in an eight-pitch bottom of the seventh inning.

Daniel Hudson set the Indians down in order in an 11-pitch top of the eighth inning.

Maton worked around a two-out walk to Anthony Rendon (who walked more than he K’d in college) for a scoreless eighth as well.

Sean Doolittle took over in the top of the ninth inning and retired the first two batters he faced before giving up a two-out home run by Jordan Luplow, 10-7. That’s how it ended.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 10-6 Nationals

Nationals now 92-69