Toronto’s Blue Jays hit two more solo home runs tonight, with both Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. taking Austin Voth deep, giving the Jays six total in two games in Nationals Park, and the visiting team in Washington, D.C. took another game in this four-game, home and “home” series by a final score of 5-1.
Voth vs the Jays: Austin Voth finished the 2019 campaign with a 3.30 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 13 walks (2.68 BB/9), 44 Ks (9.07 K/9) overall, and a .212/.287/.397 line against in 41 1⁄3 innings pitched as a starter for the Nationals.
Voth earned a spot in the Nationals’ rotation with his performance in Spring Training 1.0 and 2.0, and manager Davey Martinez said yesterday that he was excited to see the 28-year-old on the mound for the first time this season.
After tossing a quick, nine-pitch, 1-2-3 first, Voth left a 1-1 slider up inside for Jays’ slugger Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. in the first at bat of the second, and Guerrero, Jr. hit it out to left-center and over the fence, in and out of Victor Robles’s glove when he and left fielder Emilio Bonifacio collided as they leapt, 1-0 Jays.
Season 2, Homer 1:— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 28, 2020
STILL going Vlad on 'em! #PLAKATA pic.twitter.com/yUscu7EG8o
Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. hit the second solo home run of the game (the Jays’ sixth in two games in the series) off Voth in the top of the fourth, sending an 0-1 four-seamer out over the right field wall to put Toronto back on top, 2-1, a half-inning after the Nationals tied it up.
Good Lourdes, @yunitogurriel can still CRUSH pic.twitter.com/mEnLkASZX7— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 28, 2020
Joe Panik, the only Blue Jays’ hitter to face Voth before tonight, singled with one down in the top of the fifth, moved to second on a two-out error by Starlin Castro, and scored on Teoscar Hernández’s RBI single, which put the visiting team up by two, 3-1.
Austin Voth’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HRs, 70 P, 45 S, 6/8 GO/FO.
Dating back to the start of September 2019, Austin Voth has a 2.57 ERA over 6 appearances.#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/5bFa2SNdvG— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 28, 2020
Roark returns to D.C.: Tanner Roark spent six seasons in Washington, D.C. before moving on to Cincinnati, Oakland, and now Toronto. In his time with the Nationals, the 33-year-old took the mound in Nationals Park 88 times (for 67 starts), with a 3.72 ERA and .250/.309/.384 line against in 443 1⁄3 IP in the Nats’ home.
Talking last night about returning to his former home ballpark, Roark said he was excited.
Tanner Roark spent his first 6 @MLB seasons with the @Nationals.— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 27, 2020
He makes his #BlueJays debut tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/2M4xPwG4EN
“I know the mound just like the back of my hand,” he told reporters, “so I’ll be ready to go.”
Roark looked comfortable early, working his way through 2 2⁄3 scoreless innings before the Nationals got a run on the board with two down in the third. Trea Turner doubled on a line drive to right and scored on an Adam Eaton single that tied things up at 1-1 after the visiting team jumped out to an early lead.
Roark held the Nationals to one run through five, retiring the final seven batters he faced, with three hits allowed and five Ks from the 18 batters he faced before he was done...
Tanner Roark’s Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 73 P, 47 S, 3/1 GO/FO.
Change of Schedule: With a total of 15 Miami Marlins now testing positive for COVID-19, Major League Baseball this morning postponed all of the club’s games through Sunday.
That includes the scheduled three-game set the Nationals and Fish were supposed to play in Miami Friday-Sunday.
Nationals’ players voted amongst themselves and were one vote short of unanimous in deciding that they weren’t comfortable traveling to Miami now, before MLB’s decision.
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters before today’s game that postponing the series was the right move.
Will the games eventually be made up? No decision on that has been made yet.
“We hope that they will,” Martinez said.
“We want to compete on the field, and we hope that we have the opportunity to play them some time in the future. But only time will tell. They haven’t said anything about it, so we’ll see what happens.”
BULLPEN ACTION: Tanner Rainey came on in the top of the sixth, and struck out two of the three batters he faced in a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.
Jacob Waguespack took over for Toronto in the bottom of the sixth inning, working around a leadoff walk to Trea Turner (who got picked off first and tagged out at second).
Rainey got the first out of the seventh as well, before the Nationals turned to Sean Doolittle, who got the final two outs.
Waguespack tossed another scoreless frame in the bottom of the seventh to keep it a 3-1 Jays’ lead.
Will Harris got the call for the top of the eighth inning. A leadoff hit, ROE on Starlin Castro’s second error of the game, and a walk to Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., after a double steal, loaded the bases with two down, and Rowdy Tellez drove in two runs with a single to right, 5-1.
Ryne Harper got the final out of the eighth with one pitch, but the Blue Jays were up by four.
Wilmer Font retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Sam Freeman got the ball for the Nats in the top of the ninth, and worked around a one-out single by Santiago Espinal, who collected his first MLB hit. Congrats.
James Bourque took over for Freeman with one on and two out and issued a walk to Teoscar Hernández, but he got the final out of the frame to keep it a four-run game.
Old Friend’s Night at Nationals Park continued in the bottom of the ninth with A.J. Cole on to try to lock down the win. Cole gave up a leadoff double by Trea Turner, who shot one to left via third base.
Three outs later, however, Turner was stranded at third and the Jays had a second straight win in D.C., 5-1 final.
Nationals now 1-4