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Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 2 with the Seattle Mariners

Davey Martinez and Co. go for a series split after losing last night’s game, 4-2.

Washington Nationals v Seattle Mariners Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Seattle Mariners’ lefty Robbie Ray took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning last night, before Joey Meneses hit a leadoff home run to break it up and get the Washington Nationals on the board in the first of two in T-Mobile Park.

It did look for a while like Ray might make history, with a low pitch count, and dominant stuff, but he didn’t get out of the seventh inning.

“When Robbie is around the strike zone he’s really good,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said, after a 4-2 loss to the Mariners last night.

“And he did that tonight. He threw — the first inning he couldn’t get his sliders over, and then he started getting them over.

“He was pounding the fastballs both in and out, but he was very effective, he threw the ball well.”

Martinez too said he thought Ray might be on his way to something big.

“About the fourth inning, I started thinking: ‘He’s got a no-hitter,’” he acknowledged, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“You start thinking about it. For some reason, our bats come alive after the sixth inning.

“We’ve got to start jumping on starters early, and then work from there. That’s the key. I always try to tell these guys to score first, but we’ve got to do it early.”

The homer by Meneses, his 6th in 18 games since he was called up earlier this month, (23 for 70, for a .329/.356/.614 line), broke up Ray’s no-hit bid, and two outs later Lane Thomas singled off of the southpaw to knock him out, but Thomas was stranded when the Mariners’ reliever, Andres Muñoz, took over for the home team.

“He’s done well,” Martinez said of what Meneses has done since coming up on August 2nd.

“And the big thing with him is when he stays in the middle of the field, he’s really good.

“And we have to continue to talk to him about not trying to do too much, just stay in the middle of the field.”

Following the third straight loss, over which his club has scored four runs total, Martinez said the offense needed to step it up.

“We’ve got to get our offense going. We’ve got to put the ball in play a little bit more,” he said.

“We’ve got to stay in the middle of the field. We’ve got to get on for our big guys, and they’ve got to start driving in runs.”