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Washington Nationals 5-3 over New York Mets for sweep of doubleheader in D.C.

Aníbal Sánchez’s 2020 campaign wrapped up with a solid outing and a five-run third busted things open in a 5-3 win.

New York Mets v Washington Nationals - Game Two Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Washington’s Nationals batted around, pounded out five hits, and scored five runs in a 40-pitch third by New York Mets’ starter Rick Porcello that busted things open in the night half of today’s doubleheader in D.C., which ended up with the home team on top, 5-3 for a two-game sweep of the twin bill.

Sánchez vs the Mets: Aníbal Sánchez started against the Mets in New York back on August 12th in Citi Field, giving up six hits, two walks, and five earned runs in a 71-pitch, 2 23-inning outing in a 71-pitch appearance in an 11-6 loss.

“He’s not locating any of his pitches, and he’s falling behind. I haven’t seen him like that,” manager Davey Martinez said after that game.

“We got to get him right. I actually think that he may be throwing a little too much.

“He throws every day, so we’re going to talk to him tomorrow, maybe get him to not throw as much on his off days, and get back on a different routine.”

Sánchez made adjustments to his between-starts routine over the weeks that followed.

Going into tonight’s outing, at the end of a disappointing, up and down season in D.C., the 36-year-old right-hander was (3-5) in 10 starts, with a 6.80 ERA, a 5.49 FIP, 17 walks, 40 Ks, and a .324/.384/.549 line against in 47 23 IP.

Sánchez tossed three scoreless to start, on 39 pitches, giving up just one hit, and he took the mound in the fourth with a 5-0 lead, and gave up a one-out double by Robinson Cano, which was followed by a two-run shot to left by Pete Alonso, who crushed a 90 MPH, first-pitch fastball and hit a two-run shot into the visitor’s bullpen on a line, 5-2.

A six-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Sánchez at 67 pitches overall on the night, and he came back out for the sixth in this seven-inning game and gave up a leadoff walk and a one-out single that ended his outing...

Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 80 P, 50 S, 8/5 GO/FO.

Porcello vs WSH: Rick Porcello made consecutive starts against the Nationals back in early August, going (1-1) with a 2.08 ERA (3 ER in 13 IP), with no walks and nine Ks in the outings.

Going into the second outing, Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez said his hitting coach Kevin Long would have their hitters prepared for what Porcello would try to do to them.

“I know K-Long talks about it with each individual, and how he feels like they’re going to get attacked throughout every day,” Martinez explained. “Here’s a guy that knows how to pitch, but we got to make him pitch, but we got to get the ball up. The biggest key today is got to get the ball up in the strike zone.”

Trea Turner got a 1-1 sinker up in the zone from Porcello with one out in the third and he hit it out to right field for an opposite field blast and a 1-0 lead.

Juan Soto walked in the next at bat, after Turner’s homer, and took second on a wild pitch before scoring on an RBI double to right by Yadiel Hernandez, 2-0.

Hernandez came in too, on a two-out RBI single by Kurt Suzuki on a slider up in the zone, 3-0, and Suzuki stole second, then took third when Luis García reached on a grounder to first, before scoring on a single to right by Josh Harrison, 4-0. Michael A. Taylor’s infield single in the next at bat scored García, 5-0, as things got a bit circus-y in D.C.

Porcello ended up throwing 40 pitches in the inning, taking him from 27 to 67 pitches, and he didn’t come back out for the fourth...

Rick Porcello’s Line: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 67 P, 42 S, 3/1 GO/FO.

More Like Streakerson: Andrew Stevenson extended his hit streak to 10-straight games with the first of two home runs that he hit in the day half of today’s doubleheader.

He finished that game 2 for 3, leaving him 12 for 28 over the course of his streak.

Stevenson didn’t waste any time extending it to 11 in a row in Game 2, bunting for a hit the first time up against Mets’ starter Rick Porcello, leaving him 13 for 29 in the last 11 games, after one at bat in the nightcap.

BULLPEN ACTION: Erasmo Ramirez took over for the Mets in the bottom of the fourth, with the Nationals up 5-2, and worked around a leadoff single by Trea Turner (2 for 3, HR, single) for a scoreless frame to keep it a three-run game.

Wander Suero took over for the Nats with two on and and one out in the top of the sixth, and walked the first batter he faced, Pete Alonso, loading them up for Todd Frazier, who lined an RBI single to left to make it a two-run game, 5-3.

Juan Soto doubled off right-hander Jared Hughes in the bottom of the sixth, and took third on a Yadiel Hernandez groundout, where he was stranded.

Daniel Hudson got the ball in the top of the seventh and worked around a one-out walk to end it.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 5-3 Nationals

Nationals now 25-34