Yadiel Hernández homered to right field in the second (for the first time on a breaking ball this season), and drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the third, making it a 5-1 lead in the Washington Nationals’ favor at that point in what ended up a 12-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the nation’s capital.
Fedde vs the Jays: Erick Fedde went four innings on 68 pitches last time out, in the second game of a doubleheader with the New York Mets, giving up two runs on six hits in a 5-4 loss in which he received no decision. That outing extended a 10-start winless streak for the 28-year-old right-hander, over which he’s had a 6.32 ERA, 20 walks, 40 Ks, and a .297/.363/.479 line against in 47 IP.
“I was really happy with my stuff, especially early, thought I made a lot of good pitches,” the righty said after facing the Mets.
“I thought my cutter was really good. Threw that a lot for strikes today, and think it really kept the lefties off-balance.”
Looking to snap his winless streak, Fedde worked around a two-out single and walk in a 25-pitch first, but a leadoff single by Randal Grichuk and one-out double to right off of Reese McGuire’s bat that Juan Soto dove for but couldn’t catch, put runners on second and third with one out, before the Nationals’ starter struck the opposing pitcher out and got a ground ball to third by Marcus Semien for out No. 3.
A leadoff single by Bo Bichette and walk by Vladimir Guerrero in the third put two runners on for the third straight inning, and they both moved up on a liner back to the mound, off Fedde’s glove and over to a sliding Luis García, who threw from both knees to get Teoscar Hernandez at first on a play that had to be reviewed. Corey Dickerson brought in a run with a groundout in the next at bat, however, and tied things up at 1-1 after a Yadiel Hernández homer in the bottom of the second gave the Nationals an early lead.
It was 7-1 in the Nationals’ favor when Fedde returned to the mound in the top of the fourth and retired the side in order in an 11-pitch frame that left him at 78 pitches total, and it was 8-1 in the fifth, when the right-hander retired two batters then gave up a two-out free pass to Vladimir Guerrero and a two-run home run by Teoscar Hernández, whose 21st of the 2021 season made it an 8-3 game.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 94 P, 54 S, 6/2 GO/FO.
Manoah vs the Nationals: Alek Manoah, 23, and a 2019 1st Round pick by the Blue Jays (No. 11 overall), made his MLB debut back on May 27th, and in 11 starts in the majors thus far, the right-hander had a 2.59 ERA, 21 walks, 71 Ks, and a .181/.269/.326 line against in 59 IP. In his last outing before tonight, he struck out a season-high 11 of the the 29 batters he faced in a 114-pitch outing against the LA Angels in which he earned his fifth win (5-1).
Manoah talked after that outing about going up against Shohei Ohtani and testing himself against some of the best in the game.
“I see myself as one of the best of the best, too,” Manoah said, as quoted on SportsNet.
“Being able to compete with guys like that and get guys out is what’s going to put me in that category. I’ll never back down from a challenge like that even if it ends in a home run.”
After tossing a scoreless, nine-pitch first tonight, Manoah’s one-out battle with Nationals’ left fielder Yadiel Hernández in the second ended in a home run, on an 0-2 slider up and in to the left-handed hitter, who lined it out to right field for a solo shot and a 1-0 lead for the home team. Hernández’s 5th of 2021.
Former Blue Jays’ catcher Riley Adams singled to start the Nationals’ half of the third, took second on a HBP on Victor Robles, and scored on a one-out, two-run double to left-center by Alcides Escobar to put the Nats up 3-1 a half-inning after the Jays tied it up. Juan Soto’s walk in the next at bat put two on and Josh Bell singled to load the bases up for Hernández, who sent a grounder back up the middle that got under Bo Bichette’s glove to bring two in, 5-1, and 6-1 on an errant throw on a pick attempt by Manoah, and 7-1 on a Carter Kieboom sac fly.
Alek Manoah’s Line: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 53 P, 33 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
Yadi Dadi: In his last 17 games before tonight’s series opener with the Blue Jays, Nationals’ left fielder Yadiel Hernández was 19 for 52 (.365 AVG), with four doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs, seven walks, and eight runs scored over that stretch, and he continued to swing the bat well tonight, homering for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, then sneaking a bases-loaded grounder through short to put the Nationals up 5-1 in the third inning, and he finished the night 2 for 3, with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Bullpen Action: Trent Thornton came on for Toronto in the bottom of the fourth inning and gave up a leadoff home run on a 2-2 curveball to Riley Adams, who was 2 for 2 on the night after hitting his second homer of the year.
Lefty Kirby Snead hit Juan Soto in the elbow in the first at bat of the Nats’ fifth, but worked around the HBP for a scoreless frame.
Andres Machado worked around a one-out single by Santiago Espinal in a scoreless, 16-pitch top of the sixth.
Connor Overton retired the Nationals in order in a 12-pitch bottom of the sixth.
Machado returned to the mound in the seventh and got an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP after he gave up a one-out single by Bo Bichette on a swinging bunt that Carter Kieboom could not barehand. Still 8-3 Nationals.
Overton retired the Nationals in order in a 14-pitch bottom of seventh, for 2.0 scoreless on 26 pitches.
Mason Thompson gave up a leadoff single and back-to-back walks, loading the bases with Jays before he was lifted in the top of the eighth.
Kyle Finnegan took over and got a force at second, but no double play, as the relay to first was a tick too slow, 8-4 Nationals. With runners on the corners and one out, Luis García booted a potential double play grounder off Reese McGuire’s bat and another run scored to make it a three-run game, 8-5, before an RBI single to center by pinch hitter Alejandro Kirk made it an 8-6 game. Finnegan held it there.
Jays’ righty Taylor Saucedo gave up a leadoff double by Juan Soto, a one-out walk to Lane Thomas, and another free pass to Carter Kieboom. Ryan Zimmerman stepped in with the bases loaded, and the Jays went to the pen again for righty Rafael Dolis, who fell behind 2-0, went to 3-1, and gave up a sac fly, 9-6, and 11-6 after a two-run double to right by Riley Adams. Victor Robles hit a low liner to left as well, 12-6.
Gabe Klobosits came on to end it and tossed a scoreless frame, working around a leadoff hit by Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.
Final Score: 12-6 Nationals
Nationals now 51-68