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Washington Nationals settle for split, drop finale of 4-game set to Arizona D-backs, 4-3 final

Josh Rogers gave up three home runs in 4 1⁄3 IP, and the Nationals’ offense couldn’t get much going in the series finale...

Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jolly Rogers Back Home:

Josh Rogers, by his own admission, was not at his best the last time out before today, when he faced the Pirates on the road in PNC Park, but he did what he could as long as he could, on a day he just didn’t have it (4 13 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 ER).

“Behind in counts from the get-go out there,” he told reporters after the Nationals’ 6-4 loss in Pittsburgh.

“It was just really unfortunate. Had a good bullpen to warm up and felt awesome going into the game, and sometimes that’s just how it goes, and really competed and grinded there those first two innings, and just was pulling off of everything and just behind in the count. It’s tough to pitch at this level when you’re behind in the count. And to grind out — to get into the fifth was good, but wasn’t my best today.”

Rogers (and the Nationals) fell behind early this afternoon, when D-backs’ third baseman Matt Davidson hit a 1-2 slider out to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard for a 2-out solo home run and a 1-0 lead for the visiting team in D.C. after a 1/2-inning.

Diamondbacks’ center fielder Jake McCarthy hit a 2-2 slider up in the zone outside out to left and into the visitor’s bullpen for another solo shot and a 2-0 AZ lead after two in D.C.

It was a 2-2 game when Rogers came back out for the fifth, courtesy of a 2-run blast to left by Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the fourth, but he gave up a leadoff hit to left by Geraldo Perdomo and a 2-run blast to left field by Cooper Hummel in the at-bat that followed as the D-backs went back up, 4-2.

One out into the fifth, Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez went to the bullpen...

Josh Rogers’ Line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 3 HRs, 71 P, 46 S, 3/5 GO/FO.

Davies in D.C.:

D-backs’ rigthy Zach Davies started the day (2-0), “with a 1.26 ERA (2 ER in 14.1 IP) in 2 starts in Nationals Park,” in his career, as Arizona’s game notes for the series finale highlighted.

Davies, 29, signed with the Diamondbacks late in March, agreeing on a 1-year/$1.75M free agent deal after pitching for the Brewers (2015-19), Padres (2020), and Cubs (2021).

While acknowledging previous Nationals teams looked significantly different than the one he faced today, Davies had success against the organization, going (3-0) in five starts and 31 13 IP with a 2.87 ERA against Washington in his four starts with Milwaukee and one with Chicago.

Davies tossed three scoreless and hitless this afternoon, working around just a 2-out walk to Victor Robles in the third, but he issued his second walk of the game to Juan Soto to start the 4th, and Nelson Cruz followed with a monster shot to left field and into the back rows of seats in front of the concourse. 2-run blast. 2-2 game. Cruz’s 2nd of 2022.

It was 4-2 in the D-backs’ favor when Davies returned to the mound in the fifth, and a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 frame left him at 78 pitches total in five innings. That ended up being his last inning of work this afternoon...

Zach Davies’ Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 78 P, 47 S, 5/0 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Victor Arano was first out of the bullpen for the Nationals with one down in the fifth and the D-backs leading, 4-2.

Sam Clay worked around a 1-out HBP in a scoreless, 14-pitch top of the sixth.

D-backs’ lefty Joe Mantiply took over on the mound in the bottom of the sixth, with a 4-2 lead, and retired Juan Soto, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Bell on four pitches.

Austin Voth worked around a leadoff double in a 25-pitch top of the seventh, then Mantiply and D-backs’ reliever Noe Ramirez combined for a scoreless bottom of the inning.

Erasmo Ramírez, called up by the Nationals today, got the ball in the top of the eighth, and the right-hander hit the second batter he faced, and gave up back-to-back, one-out hits to Pavin Smith and David Peralta which loaded the bases, but a called third strike on a 1-2 cutter to Jake McCarthy, and groundout to first base by Daulton Varsho got the reliever out of a jam and kept it a two-run game, 4-2 D-backs.

Ian Kennedy walked Alcides Escobar in the first at-bat of the Nats’ eighth, and Victor Robles hit a grounder to third, where Yonny Hernández, who just came into the game, let it go right by him, under his glove, for a two-base error which put two runners in scoring position.

César Hernández K’d swinging for out No. 1, unproductively, so the D-backs issued an IBB to Juan Soto, loading them up for Nelson Cruz, who popped out to first on the first pitch of his at-bat. Two down. Josh Bell? Bell reached on a catcher’s interference call which made it a 1-run game, 4-3 Arizona. Keibert Ruiz popped out on a first-pitch fastball to end the threat.

Andres Machado kept it a one-run game with a scoreless top of the ninth, but D-backs’ closer Mark Melancon worked around a pair of two-out singles by Alcides Escobar and Victor Robles and a HBP on César Hernández, retiring Juan Soto with the bases loaded to close out the 4-3 win. Four-game split in the series.

Next up, San Francisco’s Giants for three in D.C. this weekend...

Nationals now 6-9