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Washington Nationals score eight runs early, cruise to 8-3 win over New York Mets...

Tomorrow’s series finale with be a rubber match after the Nationals’ 8-3 win tonight.

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez vs NYM:

Through three starts since he was called up from Triple-A Rochester late last month, Aaron Sanchez, 29, has struggled to go deep in his outings, with 4 13, 5, and 4 13-inning turns in the Washington Nationals’ rotation in which he’s given up 18 hits, three walks, and 14 runs, 13 earned (8.56 ERA, 4.56 FIP) combined.

Last time out before tonight, Sanchez threw 84 pitches to 22 batters in 4 13 innings of work on the mound in Coors Field, giving up an RBI double and a three-run homer in the home-half of the second, and three hits, including an RBI single in the fifth, before reliever Josh Rogers took over and surrendered a 3-run blast which added two runs to Sanchez’s line in the box score.

Sanchez and the Nationals fell behind early in the second of three with the Mets in D.C. tonight, with Brandon Nimmo sending a shift-beating double out to left on a two-strike sinker outside with no one home at third, and Starling Marte laying down a bunt which Maikel Franco fielded but threw by first, E:5, 1-0 NY. One out later, Pete Alonso hit a 1-0 sinker out to left for a two-run shot and a 3-0 lead.

It was 5-3 in the Nationals’ favor when the righty came out for the top of the second, and Sanchez and stranded 1- and 2-out singles in a 23-pitch frame which left him at 43 total after two.

When he came back out for the third, it was 8-3 in the Nationals favor, and two 1-2-3 frames in the third and fourth had him up to seven-straight batters set down.

A six-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the fifth gave Sanchez 10-straight outs, and he got an 11th in the top of the sixth inning, but Pete Alonso hit a liner back to the mound and off his glove hand in the second at-bat of the inning and knocked the starter out of the game... 113 MPH off the left wrist. Ouch.

Aaron Sanchez’s Line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 75 P, 51 S, 7/5 GO/FO.

Soto Gets Hold Of One:

César Hernández singled off Tylor Megill on a 2-2 slider, then the Mets’ starter started 2-0 on Juan Soto, threw him two fastballs the Nationals’ slugger fouled off, and tried for a third, and it got smoked. Soto lined the 97 MPH heater over the middle of the plate to left field for a 2-run home run that cut into the 3-0 lead Megill took the mound with in the bottom of the 1st.

Nelson Cruz grounded into a force at second, taking Josh Bell off the bases after a HBP, and a double to center by Yadiel Hernández, who crushed a 1-1 change, on which Cruz only got to third, set Keibert Ruiz up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in, with a line drive single to short right field, 3-3. Ruiz stole second, taking away the double play, and Maikel Franco hit a sac fly to center to bring Hernández in and make it 4-3 in the home team’s favor, and 5-3 on a two-out RBI single by Dee Strange-Gordon that scored Ruiz. 38-pitch first for Megill.

César Hernández singled again the second time up against Megill, and took third base on a single by Josh Bell, and both of them scored when Nelson Cruz crushed a 1-0 change which went out to left for a no-doubter of a three-run home run that made it 8-3 Nationals. Cruz’s 4th. A walk to Yadiel Hernández ended Megill’s outing...

Tylor Megill’s Line: 1.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HRs, 54 P, 31 S, 2/1 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Trevor Williams came on early for NY, with the Mets trailing 8-3 in D.C., and gave up a single by Keibert Ruiz, but got out of the inning without further damage.

Williams worked around a leadoff walk in the fourth, and completed a scoreless fifth as well, before handing it over to righty Stephen Nogosek, whose scoreless bottom of the sixth, in which he stranded a one-out walk to Juan Soto, kept it an 8-3 game in the Nationals’ favor.

Austin Voth finished off the sixth for the Nationals, and he came back out in the seventh and got two outs before Victor Arano took over and go the 3rd on a line drive to second base by Starling Marte.

Arano tossed a scoreless eighth to keep the Nationals’ five-run lead intact, and Paolo Espino got the ninth and worked around two singles for a scoreless frame.

Nationals now 11-21