Sanchez vs the Brewers:
With four runs allowed in 3 2⁄3 IP on the mound last time out against the Miami Marlins, 29-year-old starter Aaron Sanchez was left with a 7.94 ERA, a 5.25 FIP, six walks, 12 strikeouts, and a .348/.386/.565 line against in five starts and 22 2⁄3 innings since he was called up to join the Washington Nationals’ rotation back on April 23rd.
“He’s not about striking guys out, he’s about early contact, and putting the ball down on the ground,” manager Davey Martinez said after Sanchez’s fifth outing.
“That’s who he is, and he’s done well so far with that. Every five days he goes out there, as we know he’s had some injuries — but every five days he goes out there he seems like he’s getting more and more comfortable.”
Sanchez retired the Brewers in order in the bottom of the first inning of the series finale in Milwaukee, got an inning-ending double play after giving up a leadoff single in the bottom of the second (and after the Nationals failed to turn a DP on a grounder in the previous at-bat), and got another inning-ending double play after giving up a leadoff single and one-out walk in the home-half of the third, 4-6-3 both times, completing three scoreless innings on a total of 48 pitches with the Nats out to a 2-0 lead early with runs in the second and third.
It was 8-0 when Sanchez came back out for the fourth and got another 4-6-3 (this one off of Christian Yelich’s bat) after he gave up a leadoff single by Andrew McCutchen.
The Brewers finally got on the board in the fifth when Tyrone Taylor hit a 2-0 sinker to center field and off the outfield wall for a 409-foot home run, 8-1.
Two singles after the home run, and an ill-advised glove-toss to second by Dee Strange-Gordon which César Hernández couldn’t handle, and the bases were loaded for Andrew McCutchen, who hit into a force but brought in a run, 8-2, but Sanchez retired Christian Yelich to get out of a 23-pitch frame.
Aaron Sanchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 89 P, 46 S, 8/1 GO/FO.
Peralta vs the Nationals:
Unbeaten in his last five starts heading into today’s game, Freddy Peralta was (3-0) in those outings, with a 1.57 ERA, a 1.28 FIP, six walks, 38 Ks, and a .168/.225/.228 line against in 28 2⁄3 IP over that stretch, in which he allowed one run or fewer in four of five outings, but he gave up an early run in the series finale with the Nationals in American Family Field.
Maikel Franco singled with two out in the top of the second to keep the inning alive, and a Lane Thomas’ line drive to right sailed over Hunter Renfroe’s head for an RBI double which the right fielder misjudged off the bat, 1-0.
César Hernández walked to start the Nationals’ third, and was on second base two outs later when Nelson Cruz lined an opposite field single to right on a 1-0 fastball outside, driving the second run of the game in for the visiting club, 2-0.
Another rally and an apparent injury ended Peralta’s outing in the fourth, with singles by both Yadiel Hernández and Maikel Franco and an RBI double by Lane Thomas in the first three at-bats of the inning, 3-0, before a trainer came out to visit the Brewers’ starter and the decision was made to end his outing...
Freddy Peralta’s Line: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 59 P, 40 S, 5/1 GO/FO.
Reliever Bruce Suter replaced Brewers’ starter Freddy Peralta with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no one out in the fourth, with the Nationals already up 3-0, and Dee Strange-Gordon’s safety squeeze made it a 4-0 game. Cesár Hernández did the same in the next at-bat, and the Nationals were up 5-0 with two on and still no one out. Make it 6-0 after Keibert Ruiz’s RBI single to left, and Juan Soto drove in two more with a line drive to center, 8-0.
Soto took third on a Nelson Cruz single to short right, just inside the line, but Cruz was out at second base trying to stretch it into a double for the first out of the fourth, and after that Suter retired Josh Bell and Yadiel Hernández to mercifully end a long top of the fourth.
Suter retired the Nationals in order in the top of the fifth, and Luis Perdomo took over with the score 8-2 in the sixth, and worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless frame.
Josh Rogers worked around a one-out single in a scoreless bottom of the sixth. Still 8-2.
Rogers to the first out of the Brewers’ seventh, then Steve Cishek took over and the right-hander worked around a walk while recording the second and third outs.
Kyle Finnegan worked a quick, 14-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth.
With the score still 8-2 in the Nationals’ favor after eight and a half, Tanner Rainey got some work in with a 1-2-3 ninth. Ballgame.
Nationals now 14-28