Sánchez No. 19 Much Better Than Sánchez 27:
Aníbal Sánchez followed up on a solid, five-inning, 79-pitch outing against San Diego’s Padres in which he gave up a hit, two walks, and one earned run, with a 4 1⁄3-inning, 81-pitch start against Seattle in which he held the Mariners off the board, giving up two hits and two walks, but no runs.
“It’s been good,” Nats’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters after Sánchez’s eighth start back following a long stint on the IL for a cervical nerve impingement in his neck which delayed the start of his 16th big league season until mid-July.
“And I always talk about, these guys that come back, even after they go out on a rehab assignment, it takes them a while to really get going. His last two outings, he’s done well, but I think that’s a testament to like, just getting in that groove, fine-tuning your pitches, facing big league hitters, all of that stuff, but the one thing I can say about Aníbal right now, he’s keeping us in the ballgame.”
Sánchez, (who changed from the No. 27 he was wearing this season to his old 19 from his first run in D.C. this time out), and the Nationals fell behind early in the second game of three with the A’s in D.C. tonight, giving up a bomb of a 467-foot homer to left field by Dermis Garcia in the top of the second inning, on a 2-0 changeup up in the zone, which went a long way into the upper rows of the seats where not too many home runs end up, 1-0 Oakland.
The 38-year-old righty held the A’s there through five, throwing just 67 pitches total to that point, and allowing just two hits and three walks along with the one run. He threw a quick, 10-pitch, 1-2-3 inning in the sixth too, with the shutdown inning after the Nationals scored four in the bottom of the fifth to go up 4-1.
Sánchez came out in the seventh, at 77 pitches, and gave up a leadoff single by Jonah Bride, earning himself a visit from pitching coach Jim Hickey, but the Nationals didn’t replace their starter, and he struck out (former Nats’ prospect) Sheldon Neuse for out No. 1, before dialing up an inning-ending 6-4-3. CJ Abrams to Luis García to Luke Voit off Cristian Paché’s bat. Sánchez finished the inning at 95 pitches total in seven strong...
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 95 P, 57 S, 10/2 GO/FO.
A 2015 1st Round pick by New York’s Yankees, acquired by the A’s in a 2017 trade for Sonny Gray, James Kaprielian, 28, debuted for Oakland in 2020’s 60-game COVID campaign, and going into tonight’s outing, the right-hander had a 4.88 ERA, a 5.23 FIP, 51 walks, 73 Ks, and a .244/.336/.440 line against in 21 starts and 103 1⁄3 IP in his third big league season.
Kaprielian was effective and efficient through three scoreless, which he completed on just 32 pitches, working with a 1-0 lead, and he stranded runners at first and third after back-to-back, two-out hits by Nelson Cruz and Keibert Ruiz in the home-half of the fourth.
His first walk of the game, to CJ Abrams, who led off the Nats’ fifth, and an error at second by Jonah Bride on an Ildemaro Vargas’ grounder, put runners on first and third again, with no one out this time, and an opposite field single by Josh Palacios tied things up at 1-1, and Vargas somehow avoided the tag at third on an ill-advised attempt to take third on the hit.
With runners on first and third again, Luis García followed with another opposite field RBI hit, 2-1 Nationals.
Joey Meneses stepped in with two on and no one out, and grounded into a 6-4-3 DP, but Luke Voit picked him up with a two-run home run to right field on a 1-0 fastball from the Athletics’ starter, 4-1. 409-foot shot for Voit’s 18th.
After the long fifth, Kaprielian returned to the mound in the sixth, and retired two batters before CJ Abrams doubled on a low line drive to right field for his 6th two-base hit on the final pitch from the A’s starter...
James Kaprielian’s Line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 92 P, 62 S, 4/9 GO/FO.
Zach Logue came on for the A’s with a runner on second and two out in the sixth, and Ildemaro Vargas doubled to left off the lefty to drive CJ Abrams in for a 5-1 lead.
Carl Edwards, Jr. retired the A’s in order in the top of the eighth.
Kyle Finnegan got the ninth, and gave up a leadoff single by Sean Murphy, and a double to right-center field by Seth Brown which was just out of reach of Lane Thomas and a diving Victor Robles, putting runners on second and third with one down, but he struck Jonah Bride out for out No. 2, and after a base-loading, two-out walk to Vimeal Machin, Finnegan struck Stephen Vogt out to end things. Ballgame.
Nationals now 44-86