Cleveland at Washington

W: S. Rivera (2-2) L: F. Carmona (8-3)
S: C. Cordero (12)
HR: CLE - None   WAS - C. Guzman (2)

Nationals 4, Indians 1

CBS wire reports

WASHINGTON -- After getting the clutch two-out hit that gave him his first multi-RBI game in the majors, Brandon Watson was not done. He stretched the single into a double with a headfirst slide that barely beat the throw from right field.

He then rose to his knees and slapped his hands.

"Like, 'Let's play ball!"' he said. "We're winning the game. It's a big situation, and I'm going to be feeling good."

Watson showed Friday night that perhaps he really can hit on this level. A few days after earning a promotion based on a 43-game minor league hitting streak, Watson went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI to help the Washington Nationals beat the Cleveland Indians 4-1.

"Two big hits by the kid," Nationals manager Manny Acta said.

With his boyish face, slender frame and crouched extremely low in his new stance, Watson looked straight out of Little League instead of the Triple-A Columbus, but he sliced a fourth-inning single to left and pulled a sixth-inning double to right -- both with two outs and the pitcher on deck. It was his first multihit game since his major league debut in August 2005.

"It seems like a long time, huh?" Watson said. "It's been a while, but I'm back here. I'm fortunate to be in the lineup, so I'm going to play hard every day."

There were other firsts for the Nationals, who used seven pitchers to strike out 13 Indians and snap a three-game losing streak. Cristian Guzman's three hits included his first home run at RFK Stadium. Luis Ayala, making his first appearance since blowing out his elbow in the World Baseball Classic more than a year ago, induced a huge double play that kept Cleveland from scoring in the fifth.

And, for the first time that anyone could remember, a grounder found its way inside a fielder's jersey. Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman had to reach between his buttons to retrieve the ball on a bad-hop single off the bat of Franklin Gutierrez in the second inning.

"That's going to be a blooper highlight," Nationals starter Micah Bowie said. "I've never seen that before."

Washington's hurlers rebounded after getting clobbered nightly in a three-game sweep by Detroit, with Saul Rivera (2-2) throwing a perfect sixth inning to get the win and Chad Cordero pitching the ninth for his 12th save.

"You can't say enough about the bullpen," said Bowie, who lasted only 4 1/3 innings but has yet to have the Nationals lose when he starts. "Those guys come in and shut the door. That's a big lift for the team."

Fausto Carmona (8-3) took the loss, allowing three runs and 10 hits over six innings. For the most part, the Indians were befuddled by an array of unfamiliar pitchers in their first game in Washington since 1971.

"When you don't face the guys, it's hard to hit," Jhonny Peralta said. "I've never faced a couple of those guys. I don't know what they throw. It's hard to face so many different guys."

Watson was not a familiar face, either. He had not played well in his previous but brief stints in the majors, hitting .175 in 25 games in 2005 and .179 in 10 games last year. He was claimed on waivers by Cincinnati after his demotion to the minors in 2006, and he wasn't expected to make much of an impact with the Nationals after he rejoined their farm system this year.

But the 43-game hitting streak -- an International League record -- earned him a callup. He went 0-for-3 in his season debut Wednesday.

"I'm going to stay within myself this time and just put the ball in play and play hard," Watson said. "And whatever happens after that has to happen."

The Indians scored their only run on Peralta's RBI single off Bowie in the third. Bowie is 4-0 -- and the Nationals are 7-0 -- in his turn in the rotation since he was moved out of the bullpen because of injuries to several starters.

Bowie struck out seven, but he had thrown 104 pitches by the time he was removed in the fifth. Rivera, Ray King, Jesus Colome, Jon Rauch and Cordero shut out the Indians the rest of the way.


Zimmerman on his wardrobe malfunction: "I was more upset because I didn't get the guy out, but it was kind of funny. I don't know how it got in there, but it got in there somehow." ... Cleveland's Grady Sizemore was ruled out on fan interference when a spectator leaned over the railing and caught a foul ball in the fourth. LF Ryan Church had been in position to catch the ball. ... Cleveland's Ben Francisco made his first major league plate appearance, striking out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

C. Guzman
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

B. Watson
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5000021 .286
Jason Michaels, LF5010010 .284
Casey Blake, 3B3110111 .279
Victor Martinez, C2010211 .319
Jhonny Peralta, SS4021021 .288
Ryan Garko, 1B1000112 .293
   a- Travis Hafner, PH-1B2000002 .255
Josh Barfield, 2B4010001 .262
Franklin Gutierrez, RF3020000 .262
   b- Trot Nixon, PH-RF1000012 .245
Fausto Carmona, P3000033 .000
    Fernando Cabrera, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Fultz, P0000000 .000
   c- Ben Francisco, PH1000010 .000
a-grounded into a double play for Garko in the 5th
b-struck out for Gutierrez in the 8th
c-struck out for Fultz in the 9th
2B - Victor Martinez (14, Rauch)
RBI - Jhonny Peralta (42)
2-OUT RBI - Jhonny Peralta (15)
SB - Franklin Gutierrez (2, 2nd base off Bowie/Schneider)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Barfield-Garko, Peralta-Barfield-Hafner, Peralta-Barfield-Hafner
Cleveland Indians
Fausto Carmona (L,8-3) 61033230 3.21
Fernando Cabrera 1211011 4.76
Aaron Fultz 1000010 1.71
Pitches-Strikes - Fausto Carmona 92-61, Fernando Cabrera 29-21, Aaron Fultz 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Fausto Carmona 8-4
Batters Faced - Fausto Carmona 27, Fernando Cabrera 5, Aaron Fultz 3
Washington Nationals
Cristian Guzman, SS4131000 .337
Felipe Lopez, 2B4030000 .237
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4010013 .250
Dmitri Young, 1B4110013 .335
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Austin Kearns, RF2100213 .257
Ryan Church, LF4110001 .266
Brian Schneider, C4010010 .237
Brandon Watson, CF4022000 .286
Micah Bowie, P2000012 .100
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Langerhans, PH1000001 .175
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
    Ronnie Belliard, 1B0000000 .287
a-lined out for Rivera in the 6th
2B - Brandon Watson (1, Carmona)
HR - Cristian Guzman (2, Cabrera)
RBI - Cristian Guzman (13), Brandon Watson 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Watson 2 (2)
SB - Felipe Lopez (7, 2nd base off Carmona/Martinez), Ryan Zimmerman (3, 2nd base off Cabrera/Martinez)
Team LOB - 7
DP - F. Lopez-Guzman-Young
Washington Nationals
Micah Bowie 4.1511470 3.63
Luis Ayala 0.2100000 0.00
Saul Rivera (W,2-2) 1000010 3.64
Ray King (H,6) 0.1000000 6.50
Jesus Colome (H,7) 0.2000010 2.82
Jon Rauch (H,13) 1200020 4.50
Chad Cordero (S,12) 1000020 2.57
Pitches-Strikes - Micah Bowie 104-58, Luis Ayala 9-4, Saul Rivera 12-8, Ray King 5-2, Jesus Colome 8-6, Jon Rauch 20-14, Chad Cordero 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luis Ayala 1-0, Saul Rivera 1-1, Chad Cordero 1-0
Batters Faced - Micah Bowie 22, Luis Ayala 2, Saul Rivera 3, Ray King 1, Jesus Colome 2, Jon Rauch 5, Chad Cordero 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24534
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Wally Bell