December 10, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 59 Review: Span singles Moore home in 11th to beat Yanks

Denard Span beat out an infield single, allowing Tyler Moore to scored from third in the 11th inning, lifting the Washington Nationals to a 5-4 win over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

The Nats (31-28) snap a three-game losing streak and momentarily tie the New York Mets for first in the N.L. East depending on the result of the Mets late game.

After the go-ahead run, Drew Storen was filthy in his 19th save, retiring the side on 10 pitches, eight for strikes.

Danny Espinosa provided much of the scoring for the Nats. In the third, back-to-back doubles by Espinosa and Span gave the Nats a 1-0 lead off Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi.

Espinosa (3 for 5) then homered off Eovaldi in the fifth, his eighth of the season.

The Yankees tied it in the seventh. Gonzalez gave up a leadoff single to Chris Young, then with one out, Brendan Ryan tripled to center. Manager Matt Williams called on lefty Felipe Rivero, and — with the infield drawn in — Brett Gardner greeted the rookie reliever with a ground ball down the first base line past a diving Tyler Moore. Gardner slid safely ahead of the throw at second for a run scoring, game-tying double.

After Rivero got Chase Headley to fly out, Williams went back to the pen for Aaron Barrett. The move didn’t work, as Alex Rodriguez tattooed one over Span’s head in center for another double, plating Gardner to make it 3-2. Barrett then hit Mark Teixeira on the back knee.

Barrett coaxed a routine grounder by Brian McCann back up the middle, but it hit the second base bag and bounced over Ian Desmond’s head, falling harmlessly behind the shortstop to drive in Rodriguez for a 4-2 Yankees lead.

Yunel Escobar led off the eighth with a  single, ending Eovaldi’s day. Lefty Jacob Lindgren replaced him to face Bryce Harper, which was remarkable in that it’s the first time in his entire professional career — majors or minors — that Harper faced a pitcher younger than him. Harper flied to left center for the first out of the inning, then Desmond grounded out, moving Escobar up to second.

Lindgren then dug in against Michael Taylor, but Taylor won the battle, clubbing a high fastball into the right field bleachers for his fifth homer of the season to tie the game at 4.

In the ninth, the Nats put two on with two outs, but Escobar’s liner to first was snared by Teixeira before it had a chance to rattle around in the right field corner.

HERO: Denard Span. The Nats center fielder went 3 for 6 with two RBIs. Special mention to Espinosa for his day, which ended a triple short of the cycle.

GOAT: Aaron Barrett. The Bear has been struggling of late, and his work today added fuel to the Yankees rally.

NATS NOTES:

  • Starter Gio Gonzalez was pretty good. He gave up two earned runs on four hits and three walks, striking out five in 6 1/3 innings.
  • Ryan Zimmerman was given another day off to rest his plantar fasciitis.
  • Blake Treinen pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing a single hit and striking out three.

NEXT GAME: The Nats travel to Milwaukee on Thursday to face the Brewers. Tanner Roark (2-2, 3.16) takes on Matt Garza (4-7, 5.09) at 8:10 p.m. Eastern.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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