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Washington Nationals drop 2 of 3 to New York Yankees in season-opening series in D.C. with 3-2 loss in finale

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Patrick Corbin was impressive, but the Yankees rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take the series finale in Nationals Park by a final score of 3-2.

New York Yankees v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin retired 19 of 21 New York Yankees’ batters in a 6 13-inning, 75-pitch outing in his 2020 debut, striking out eight and inducing seven ground ball outs, while collecting 13 swinging and 11 called strikes along the way.

The last batter he faced, Gleyber Torres, connected for the Bronx Bombers’ second hit of the game, however, sending a solo shot to left field, and Will Harris came on and gave up the second home run of the inning on a blast by Luke Voit as the visiting team rallied to tie things up at 2-2.

Sean Doolittle gave up a leadoff walk, one-out single, and two-out RBI hit by Torres in the top of the eighth, and the Yanks took the finale, and 2 of 3 in the season-opening series in D.C., 3-2 final.

Corbin vs the Yankees: Davey Martinez had modest hopes for what he could get out of his left-handed starter, Patrick Corbin, in the southpaw’s first outing of the 2020 campaign.

In his pregame press conference, the manager said, “... hopefully Corbin can go out there and give us five or six strong innings and then we’ll go from there.” He got more than he’d probably expected.

Corbin retired the first nine batters he faced, striking out five, with a filthy slider that got him six swinging strikes in that stretch, and he was up to 11-straight retired before he fell behind 2-0 to Gleyber Torres and gave up a two-out single in the fourth, before stranding the first runner to reach base.

After a 1-2-3 fifth, Corbin was up to 15 of 16 batters set down, on 57 pitches, and the left-hander was up to 18 of 19 retired after setting the side down in order in a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth which left him at 67 pitches overall.

Corbin came back out for the seventh inning, however, and gave up a one-out solo shot to left by Gleyber Torres, who took a first-pitch fastball for a ride and cut the Nats’ lead in half, 2-1. That was it for Corbin...

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 1 HR, 75 P, 49 S, 7/2 GO/FO.

Loaisiga vs the Nationals: Yankees’ skipper Aaron Boone told reporters before the series finale in D.C. this afternoon he was going with a bullpen start in the rubber match of the three-game set. Jonathan Loaisiga was first up. Why’d he got the nod?

“Just really like him, where he’s at right now and in this role,” Boone said. You’ve heard me talk about him really all Spring and all Summer Camp about the important role I think he’s gonna play for our team this year, and you know that starts today and in this role where, you know, we feel like he’s a really good option, especially the first time through the order, and excited to see him go out and pitch today.”

How long did he plan on sticking with the right-hander?

“He’s got some length to him,” Boone said. “He’s probably in that 50-pitch range. So, we feel like if he’s effective, he can potentially give us a few innings.”

Loaisiga, 25, threw 22 pitches in the opening frame, working around a one-out single by Adam Eaton, and he worked around a two-out walk in a 13-pitch second, but Trea Turner hit one out to left in the third, on the pitcher’s 47th offering, a 2-2 sinker up in the zone inside that Turner crushed, sending a no-doubter out over the visitor’s bullpen, 1-0.

Jonathan Luaisiga’s Line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 51 P, 32 S, 3/1 GO/FO.

Stanton ❤️s D.C.: Giancarlo Stanton’s 2 for 3 game on Saturday, in which he hit his second home run in two games and his first double of the 2020 campaign, left the Yanks’ 30-year-old slugger 4 for 6 in the season-opening series and 69 for 224 (.308/.384/.683) with 18 doubles and 22 home runs in 59 career games in Nationals Park.

Davey Martinez joked before today’s game about what he wanted to see the Nationals do in the series finale to try to keep Stanton in check.

“I’d like to see him make [an] out a couple times,” Martinez joked. “He’s been hot. Like I said, he’s swinging the bat really well. So we just got to make better pitches against him, but he’s really swinging the bat well.”

Patrick Corbin got Stanton swinging with a 2-2 slider in their first matchup of the game, and another 2-2 slider in the fourth got the Yankees’ cleanup hitter again, who went 0 for 3 with three Ks through seven innings, and finished the game 0 for 3 with a walk and 3 Ks.

BULLPEN ACTION: David Hale took over on the mound for the Yankees in the fourth, and gave up a leadoff double by Starlin Castro, who lined a 94 MPH 2-2 fastball to right field, took third on a Howie Kendrick groundout, and scored on an Eric Thames’ RBI “single” that made it through the shift (via Yankees’ first baseman Luke Voit’s wickets), 2-0.

Adam Ottavino hit Yan Gomes with one down, but got an inning-ending double play out of Michael A. Taylor in the at bat that followed.

Trea Turner beat out an infield grounder for a leadoff single in the Nationals’ half of the sixth inning, ending Ottavino’s day, and took second on an Adam Eaton groundout. New pitcher Chad Green walked Howie Kendrick intentionally to put two on in front of Eric Thames, and a wild pitch moved Turner to third before Thames K’d swinging to end the threat.

Will Harris came on in relief of Corbin after a Gleyber Torres’ home run made it a one-run game, 2-1 Nationals, and struck Giancarlo Stanton out before giving up a game-tying solo short by Luke Voit, who hit a center-cut 2-0 cutter to left field to make it 2-2 in D.C.

Green retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the seventh to keep things knotted up at 2-2.

Sean Doolittle got the call in the top of the eighth, and gave up a leadoff walk to pinch hitter Aaron Hicks and a one-out single by DJ LeMahieu, bringing Aaron Judge up with two on and one out. Judge lined out to left for out No. 2, but Torres hit a 2-1 fastball through the left side of the infield for a go-ahead single, 3-2 Yankees. That was it for Doolittle.

Tanner Rainey balked both runners into scoring position, then put Stanton on intentionally, loading them up, but a swinging K from Luke Voit ended the inning.

Trea Turner reached on a grounder to short with one down in the Nats’ eighth and Tommy Kahnle on the mound, and moved to third on a double by Adam Eaton, but Starlin Castro K’d swinging for the second out, and after an intentional walk to Howie Kendrick, Kahnle struck Eric Thames out with a 1-2 changeup to end the threat.

Daniel Hudson retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.

Zack Britton came on for the save opportunity in the bottom of the inning.

Asdrúbal Cabrera reached on an infield single to start the home-half of the frame.

Emilio Bonifacio came on to run with Victor Robles at the plate, and took second on passed ball, but got thrown out over-sliding third base when he tried to take the bag on ball four to Robles. #sadtrumpetsound

Yan Gomes sent a fly to center for out No. 2, and Michael A. Taylor ... grounded out to end it. Final Score: 3-2 Yankees.

Nationals now 1-2