Luis García drove in a run with a bases loaded sac fly in the fifth inning of the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader, but the run was the only one the Washington Nationals got from a bases loaded, no-out opportunity.
A three-run home run by Juan Soto in the ninth made it a 6-4 game in the Seattle Mariners’ favor, and the Nationals fell short in the end, taking a fifth-straight loss, going 2 for 8 with men in scoring position and nine left on base in the first game.
“We fell behind early, and our offense today — we stranded too many runners on base,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters between the two games in the nation’s capital. “So, we got to start driving in some runs, and once we do that we’ll be fine, but we’re leaving way too many runners on base.”
His message for the offense going into the nightcap of the twin bill?
“For me it’s not trying to do too much,” he added. “Really. Just go up there, and as you can see, when Juan gets pitched to, that was an awesome swing, very little movement, got his hands to the baseball, and does what he does, and drives the ball to left-center field.
“I mean, as a whole, we got to not try to do too much. We just go up there, we’re pressing, trying to score runs.”
“Once again, we fall behind early,” Martinez said in trying to explain what’s not working, “... and then everybody’s trying to do too much. We just need to just relax and just do the little things. Like I said, just try to stay up the middle. And just — don’t try to drive in three or four, just drive in one. And let’s go with that first.”
They didn’t generate many opportunities in a 2-1 loss in the second game in D.C., going 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position and six left on base, with Soto’s second home run of the day and 19th of the season accounting for the Nationals’ only run in their sixth loss in a row.
Martinez used his backup catcher, Keibert Ruiz, in the second game, for a bases-loaded, two-out pinch hit opportunity in the seventh, but he K’d swinging, and Soto’s homer in the ninth ended up as their only run scored in the loss.
“We’re not scoring runs, so we got to try to create something. We got to try to mix things up,” Martinez said of the moves he made to try to spark something.
Will he try to mix things up for the series opener with the Braves after dropping four straight in Atlanta on the last road trip?
Also: Aníbal Sánchez is pitching tonight.