Davey Martinez’s club did rally from a 4-0 deficit, and they took the Chicago Cubs to extra innings last night, but the Washington Nationals came up short in the end. Nelson Cruz hit one out to center for a sac fly and the home team’s first run of the game in the sixth inning.
Ildemaro Vargas singled to drive in a run in the seventh.
Luke Voit and Lane Thomas both homered in the eighth inning to tie things up before the Nationals left the bases loaded on a groundout to second by Yadiel Hernández.
It was a 4 for 16 night at the plate with runners in scoring position overall, with a total of 11 runners left on base in the 7-5 loss.
“We had our chances. We had our moments to put the game away. We just couldn’t do it. So we just got to come back again tomorrow and like I said try to win a series,” Martinez said in his post game press conference in Nationals Park.
A leadoff single was erased on a double play in each of the first two innings last night, one off Joey Meneses’s bat, and one off Thomas’s, though Victor Robles was to blame for the out at first base on a line drive to right by Meneses. Vargas and Robles K’d following a one-out hit in the third, Luke Voit was stranded after a one-out walk in the fourth, César Hernández was stranded after a leadoff single in the fifth, and they settled for a run on a sac fly in the sixth, but had two runners on with no outs.
The Nationals cashed in on a leadoff double by César Hernández in the seventh, but Meneses hit into an inning-ending double play after the Nats loaded the bases with one out in the home-half of the inning, then there was Yadiel Hernández’s groundout with the bases loaded, and a quick, 1-2-3 ninth. CJ Abrams drove in a run to tie things up at 5-5 after the Cubs scored one run in the top of the tenth, and they came up empty the bottom of the eleventh after the visitors scored two.
“We’ve got some guys in the middle of our lineup right now that have got some thump, and they’re going to swing big,” Martinez said when asked if some hitters are pressing when big spots come up.
“It’s just who they are, you know. Joey today just chased more than I’ve seen him chase.
“So he’s just got to get back into the zone. Yadi shortened up a little bit... he hit a one-hopper to the second baseman there with the bases loaded.”
“We battled back. We hit some home runs,” the manager added.
“We still left some guys on base, but Yadi smoked a ball to second base for an out with bases loaded. And we kept battling back.
“The guys played hard. So we’ll come back tomorrow early and do it again.”