Washington Nationals Game Recap: Tanner Roark Struggles As Nats 8 Game Win Streak Ends
By Ricky Keeler
After a 3-2 win in Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies (27-50), Tanner Roark (3-3, 4.34) was chosen to take the mound for Game 2 and the Washington Nationals also called up Wilmer Difo to be the extra man on their temporary 26-man roster. In his first start since June 16, Roark got the ground balls he was looking for, but the Phillies were able to string hits together for a couple big innings.
While the Nats did rally a couple of times, their ultimate effort fell short in a 8-5 loss as their eight game win streak was snapped. Nevertheless, the Nationals were still able to win the series.
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The scoring began in the bottom of the second when the Phillies put four runs on the board. With runners on second and third, the pitcher, Severino Gonzalez, grounded out to first and Tyler Moore elected to make the tag rather than throw home, which allowed Philadelphia to get a run on the board. Then, Odubel Herrera singled to center field to score Andres Blanco to make it 2-0. Later in the inning, Maikel Franco and Domonic Brown had back-to-back RBI singles to double the lead to 4-0.
Even facing a four run deficit, the Nats would rally back against Gonzalez in the fourth. After a leadoff double by Yunel Escobar, who was back in the lineup for the first time since Friday, Clint Robinson would drive him home with a base hit to center to make it 4-1. On the next batter, Ian Desmond crushed a two-run homer to deep left center field. His seventh of the season cut the Phillies lead to 4-3.
But, in the bottom of the inning, Philadelphia was able to put up another big inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Franco (2-for-5, 3 RBI’s) singled to center field to drive in both Gonzalez and Herrera to make it 6-3. After Domonic Brown singled to left, Darin Ruf would drive home Franco with a base hit to left.
That would end Roark’s day. In the loss, the 28-year-old right-hander went 3.1 innings, gave up eight runs on 12 hits, struck out no one, and walked one. Felipe Rivero would give up the eighth run when Carlos Ruiz hit a sacrifice fly to score Brown.
In the sixth inning, the Nats would get a run back when Jose Lobaton hit a solo shot to right field. His third home run of the season made it 8-4 Phillies. One inning later, Clint Robinson would drive in his second run of the game with a two-out base hit to left that scored Taylor, who led off the inning with an infield single. However, that would not be enough in the end.
Severino Gonzalez (3-2, 8.28), who was the 26th man for the Phillies in today’s game, went 5.1 innings, gave up four runs on six hits, struck out seven, and walked one to record his third win of the season. The four relievers who came in after Gonzalez (Jeanmar Gomez, Elvis Araujo, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon) gave up one run over the final 3.2 innings.
Even in a loss, the Nats bullpen did not give up an earned run. The trio of Rivero, Blake Treinen, and Casey Janssen gave up four combined hits.
Next Game: After a day off Monday, the Washington Nationals (42-34) will begin a three game series Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves (36-40) at Turner Field. You can watch the game at 7:10 PM ET on MASN. Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 3.42) will get the start for the Nats against Shelby Miller (5-3, 1.94) for the Braves.