Washington’s Nationals were three outs away from their second straight win on the road in Yankee Stadium, with a 2-1 lead over New York’s Yankees after 8 1⁄2, and their closer on the mound looking to lock down his fourth save in four opportunities.
Brad Hand walked the first batter he faced, however, putting DJ LeMahieu on, and gave up a weak fly to right by Aaron Judge neither first baseman Ryan Zimmerman or Juan Soto got to in time, before Gleyber Torres lined a single to right to drive in the tying run.
The two teams went to extras tied at 2-2, and scored a run each in the 10th, but in the 11th, the Nationals failed to move their free runner from second base, and Tanner Rainey came out for the home-half of the inning and walked the first two batters he faced, loading them up, and gave up a weak roller toward third by Torres for a walk-off winner.
“Tough loss,” manager Davey Martinez said after the game.
“Max [Scherzer] was unbelievable again today. Pitched really well. We go into that game in the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead with your closer in there, you know, it’s tough. The walks get you, and he jammed a couple hitters, bloop singles, and then play those extra innings, and Rainey comes in and the walks got us again. It’s just one of those days.”
After a big output in Friday’s 11-4 win, the Nationals failing to even move the free runner off second in the top of the eleventh was particularly frustrating, with Josh Bell striking out to start the inning, Kyle Schwarber flying out for out No. 2, and Starlin Castro striking out on a 1-2 cutter that was called strike three.
“I thought Bell just swung at a bad pitch. Schwarber flied out deep to left-center field. And then Starlin struck out on a pitch away,” Martinez said.
“Till then our at bats were pretty good, we put the ball in play.
“[Victor] Robles (3 for 4, run scored) did really well today, played really well, so we’ve just got to come back tomorrow and try to win the series tomorrow.”