Nationals use 3-run eighth to beat Royals 5-2 and win series

WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Nationals can only hope a four-day layoff won't curtail the wave of momentum they're riding into the All-Star break.

Anthony Rendon doubled in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning, Brian Dozier and Victor Robles homered, and Washington beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 Sunday for its 10th win in 12 games.

The resurgent Nationals have blown past Philadelphia into second place in the NL East. Since sinking to 19-31 on May 23, Washington has gone 28-11 and lost only one of 13 series.

Now, it's hurry up and wait until their next game, on Friday in Philadelphia.

''It would it be nice to keep playing on this hot streak,'' manager Dave Martinez said. ''I'd say the way they're playing, keep going is great, but I think we all need a break.''

Starting pitching has been a big reason for the turnaround. In extending a trend, left-hander Patrick Corbin struck out 11 and scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings.

Over the last seven games, Nationals starters have a 1.35 ERA with 65 strikeouts. It was the ninth time in the last 12 games that Washington starters allowed one run or fewer.

The big three of Max Scherzer, Corbin and Stephen Strasburg turned in a history-making performance in the first half, making the Nationals the first team in NL history to have three pitchers with at least 125 strikeouts prior to the All-Star break.

''As a team, just to finish there how we did is awesome, being five games up (47-42) to where we were a couple months ago,'' Corbin said. ''We're kind of where we want to be.''

The hitting has been robust, too. Washington has homered in a franchise-record 21 straight games, the longest active streak in the big leagues.

''I love how we overcame a lot of things in the first month and a half and how we finished,'' Dozier said. ''We've made it happen.''

Corbin left with a 2-0 lead, courtesy of solo homers by Dozier and Robles, but the Royals pulled even in the eighth . After Fernando Rodney gave up a two-out RBI single to Adalberto Mondesi, Alex Gordon greeted Sean Doolittle (6-2) with a run-scoring double.

Washington emphatically answered in the bottom half against lefty Jake Diekman (0-6). Rendon's double to the gap in left-center scored Adam Eaton , and Howie Kendrick capped the uprising with a pinch-hit, two-run double.

Much earlier, the game developed into a pitching duel between Corbin and Jakob Junis, who allowed only five hits over seven innings.

''I've been struggling a little big lately, so to go out there and have a good outing like that - seven innings, two runs - that's good going into the break and the second half,'' Junis said. ''Hopefully I can take the good from this game and build off that.''

There probably won't be too many times when he goes up against a foe as effective as Corbin.

''He pitched a great game, and I had to compete with that,'' Junis said. ''I'm just glad I kept it close.''

BOUNCED IN RUBBER GAMES

The Royals fell to 1-8 in series deciding games, the lone exception a win over Detroit on June 13 to decide a three-game set. That remains KC's lone victory in a rubber game since May 30, 2018. In addition, the Royals are 8-21 in series finales this year.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer has a sore back and will not pitch Tuesday in the All-Star Game, which enables him to get an eight-day break before his next start. ''Our season matters so much more than the All-Star Game,'' Scherzer said. ... INF Ryan Zimmerman wasn't in the starting lineup for a second straight day. ''Everything's good. This is kind of part of the deal moving forward,'' said Zimmerman, who missed 53 games from April to late June with a foot injury. ''It's just going to be managing everything for the rest of the year, but I'll take it. I'm just excited to be back and to be able to help.'' ... RHP Kyle Barraclough (sore forearm) was sent to Class A Potomac on a rehab assignment Sunday.

UP NEXT

Royals: Last-place Kansas City emerges from the All-Star break with a home game Friday night against the Detroit Tigers, the second-worst team in the AL Central.

Nationals: Washington comes out of the break with a Friday night visit to Philadelphia, home of Bryce Harper and the Phillies, who are also in hot pursuit of first-place Atlanta in the NL East.

---

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Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
KC30-61
000000020291
WAS47-42
01000013X580
  • W: S. Doolittle (6-2)L: J. Diekman (0-6)
  • HR: WAS - B. Dozier (14), V. Robles (13)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield CF40100011.306.355.495.8501.5
A. Mondesi SS41110021.268.298.445.7432.0
A. Gordon LF40210020.275.352.447.7993.0
H. Dozier 3B40100021.282.367.532.8990.0
J. Soler RF40100002.240.307.497.8052.0
C. Cuthbert 1B40200021.288.315.432.7471.0
N. Lopez 2B40000024.228.274.302.575-1.0
M. Maldonado C30100000.226.292.352.6451.0
T. Gore PR01000000.275.362.353.7153.0
C. Gallagher C10000001.198.263.256.5190.0
J. Junis P20000000.000.000.000.0000.0
a- L. Duda PH10000001.157.245.292.5370.0
J. Diekman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
K. McCarthy P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
  • a-flied out for Junis in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
T. Turner SS40100010.288.343.491.8341.5
A. Eaton RF31100100.281.368.383.7513.0
A. Rendon 3B41110002.304.386.611.9974.0
J. Soto LF41000002.300.406.537.9431.0
M. Adams 1B30000020.234.275.515.790-1.0
a- H. Kendrick PH-1B10120000.327.378.563.9404.0
B. Dozier 2B21111210.233.322.444.7677.5
V. Robles CF41211003.246.320.443.7637.0
Y. Gomes C30100002.211.303.303.6061.0
P. Corbin P20000021.086.158.086.244-1.0
b- G. Parra PH10000001.228.289.368.6570.0
F. Rodney P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
S. Doolittle P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
  • a-doubled for Adams in the 8th
  • b-grounded out for Corbin in the 7th
BATTING
  • 2B - W. Merrifield (25), A. Gordon (23), J. Soler (18)
  • RBI - A. Mondesi (51), A. Gordon (55)
  • 2-Out RBI - A. Mondesi (12), A. Gordon (18)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Mondesi, H. Dozier, N. Lopez 3 (3), C. Gallagher
BATTING
  • 2B - T. Turner (16), A. Rendon (22), H. Kendrick (13)
  • HR - B. Dozier (14), V. Robles (13)
  • RBI - A. Rendon (62), H. Kendrick 2 (47), B. Dozier (33), V. Robles (37)
  • 2-Out RBI - B. Dozier (16), V. Robles (16)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Soto, Y. Gomes, P. Corbin, G. Parra
BASERUNNING
  • SB - T. Gore (13)
FIELDING
  • DP - 2 (Mondesi-Cuthbert; McCarthy-Mondesi-Cuthbert)
  • E - J. Diekman
FIELDING
  • Outfield Assist - V. Robles (5)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
J. Junis7.05222625.331.4518.0
J. Diekman (L, 0-6)0.13320005.201.38-10.0
K. McCarthy0.20001005.111.70-1.0
PITCHERSIP
J. Junis7.0
J. Diekman (L, 0-6)0.1
K. McCarthy0.2
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
P. Corbin7.050001103.341.1124.5
F. Rodney (H, 2)0.22220007.781.98-4.0
S. Doolittle (W, 6-2) (BS, 4)1.12000003.131.378.0
PITCHERSIP
P. Corbin7.0
F. Rodney (H, 2)0.2
S. Doolittle (W, 6-2) (BS, 4)1.1
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - J. Junis 98-62, J. Diekman 15-14, K. McCarthy 10-5
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Junis 7-7, J. Diekman 2-0, K. McCarthy 1-0
  • Batters Faced - J. Junis 27, J. Diekman 5, K. McCarthy 2
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - P. Corbin 104-69, F. Rodney 20-13, S. Doolittle 18-13
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - P. Corbin 4-5, S. Doolittle 2-2
  • Batters Faced - P. Corbin 25, F. Rodney 4, S. Doolittle 6
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
KC30-61
000000020291
WAS47-42
01000013X580
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield CF40100011.306.355.495.8501.5
A. Mondesi SS41110021.268.298.445.7432.0
A. Gordon LF40210020.275.352.447.7993.0
H. Dozier 3B40100021.282.367.532.8990.0
J. Soler RF40100002.240.307.497.8052.0
C. Cuthbert 1B40200021.288.315.432.7471.0
N. Lopez 2B40000024.228.274.302.575-1.0
M. Maldonado C30100000.226.292.352.6451.0
T. Gore PR01000000.275.362.353.7153.0
C. Gallagher C10000001.198.263.256.5190.0
J. Junis P20000000.000.000.000.0000.0
a- L. Duda PH10000001.157.245.292.5370.0
J. Diekman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
K. McCarthy P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
Total35292001112-----
  • a-flied out for Junis in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
T. Turner SS40100010.288.343.491.8341.5
A. Eaton RF31100100.281.368.383.7513.0
A. Rendon 3B41110002.304.386.611.9974.0
J. Soto LF41000002.300.406.537.9431.0
M. Adams 1B30000020.234.275.515.790-1.0
a- H. Kendrick PH-1B10120000.327.378.563.9404.0
B. Dozier 2B21111210.233.322.444.7677.5
V. Robles CF41211003.246.320.443.7637.0
Y. Gomes C30100002.211.303.303.6061.0
P. Corbin P20000021.086.158.086.244-1.0
b- G. Parra PH10000001.228.289.368.6570.0
F. Rodney P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
S. Doolittle P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
Total3158523611-----
  • a-doubled for Adams in the 8th
  • b-grounded out for Corbin in the 7th
BATTING
  • 2B - W. Merrifield (25), A. Gordon (23), J. Soler (18)
  • RBI - A. Mondesi (51), A. Gordon (55)
  • 2-Out RBI - A. Mondesi (12), A. Gordon (18)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Mondesi, H. Dozier, N. Lopez 3 (3), C. Gallagher
BATTING
  • 2B - T. Turner (16), A. Rendon (22), H. Kendrick (13)
  • HR - B. Dozier (14), V. Robles (13)
  • RBI - A. Rendon (62), H. Kendrick 2 (47), B. Dozier (33), V. Robles (37)
  • 2-Out RBI - B. Dozier (16), V. Robles (16)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Soto, Y. Gomes, P. Corbin, G. Parra
BASERUNNING
  • SB - T. Gore (13)
FIELDING
  • DP - 2 (Mondesi-Cuthbert; McCarthy-Mondesi-Cuthbert)
  • E - J. Diekman
FIELDING
  • Outfield Assist - V. Robles (5)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
J. Junis7.05222625.331.4518.0
J. Diekman (L, 0-6)0.13320005.201.38-10.0
K. McCarthy0.20001005.111.70-1.0
Total8.0854362---
PITCHERSIP
J. Junis7.0
J. Diekman (L, 0-6)0.1
K. McCarthy0.2
Total8.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
P. Corbin7.050001103.341.1124.5
F. Rodney (H, 2)0.22220007.781.98-4.0
S. Doolittle (W, 6-2) (BS, 4)1.12000003.131.378.0
Total9.09220110---
PITCHERSIP
P. Corbin7.0
F. Rodney (H, 2)0.2
S. Doolittle (W, 6-2) (BS, 4)1.1
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - J. Junis 98-62, J. Diekman 15-14, K. McCarthy 10-5
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Junis 7-7, J. Diekman 2-0, K. McCarthy 1-0
  • Batters Faced - J. Junis 27, J. Diekman 5, K. McCarthy 2
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - P. Corbin 104-69, F. Rodney 20-13, S. Doolittle 18-13
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - P. Corbin 4-5, S. Doolittle 2-2
  • Batters Faced - P. Corbin 25, F. Rodney 4, S. Doolittle 6
  • 8TH INNING
    Kendrick doubled to deep left, Rendon and Soto scored25
    Rendon doubled to left center, Eaton scored23
    Gordon doubled to deep center, Mondesi scored22
    Mondesi singled to left, Gore scored12
  • 7TH INNING
    Robles homered to left02
  • 2ND INNING
    Dozier homered to left center01
  • 9TH INNING
    • S. Doolittle Pitching:
    • J. Soler: Soler flied out to left
    • C. Cuthbert: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Cuthbert singled to left
    • N. Lopez: Foul, Lopez reached on fielder's choice to second, Cuthbert out at second
    • C. Gallagher: Ball, Ball, Lopez to second, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Gallagher flied out to left
    • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • Fernando Rodney pitching
    • M. Maldonado: Ball, Strike swinging, Maldonado singled to left
    • Lucas Duda hit for Jake Junis
    • Terrance Gore ran for Martin Maldonado
    • L. Duda: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Gore stole second, Foul, Ball, Duda flied out to deep left
    • W. Merrifield: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Merrifield lined out to second
    • A. Mondesi: Strike swinging, Ball, Mondesi singled to left, Gore scored
    • Sean Doolittle relieved Fernando Rodney
    • A. Gordon: Pickoff attempt, Gordon doubled to deep center, Mondesi scored
    • H. Dozier: Dozier grounded out to shortstop
    • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Cam Gallagher catching
    • Jake Diekman pitching
    • T. Turner: Strike looking, Strike looking, Turner grounded out to second
    • A. Eaton: Foul, Foul, Eaton singled to center
    • A. Rendon: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Rendon doubled to left center, Eaton scored
    • J. Soto: Soto safe at first on Diekman fielding error, Rendon to third
    • Howie Kendrick hit for Matt Adams
    • H. Kendrick: Foul, Strike swinging, Kendrick doubled to deep left, Rendon and Soto scored
    • Kevin McCarthy relieved Jake Diekman
    • B. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Dozier walked
    • V. Robles: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Robles grounded into double play pitcher to shortstop to first, Dozier out at second
    • End of the 8th (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
  • 7TH INNING
    • P. Corbin Pitching:
    • J. Soler: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Soler flied out to deep center
    • C. Cuthbert: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Cuthbert struck out swinging
    • N. Lopez: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Lopez struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Junis Pitching:
    • M. Adams: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Adams struck out swinging
    • B. Dozier: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Dozier struck out looking
    • V. Robles: Foul, Robles homered to left
    • Y. Gomes: Strike (foul tip), Foul, Gomes singled to left
    • Gerardo Parra hit for Patrick Corbin
    • G. Parra: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Parra grounded out to first
    • End of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 6TH INNING
    • P. Corbin Pitching:
    • A. Mondesi: Mondesi flied out to deep left
    • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
    • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Junis Pitching:
    • T. Turner: Strike swinging, Ball, Turner doubled to left
    • A. Eaton: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Eaton walked
    • A. Rendon: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Rendon grounded into double play shortstop to first, Turner to third, Eaton out at second
    • J. Soto: Foul, Soto lined out to center
    • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • P. Corbin Pitching:
    • M. Maldonado: Maldonado popped out to shortstop
    • J. Junis: Strike looking, Junis grounded out to pitcher
    • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Merrifield lined out to right
    • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Junis Pitching:
    • B. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Dozier walked
    • V. Robles: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Robles flied out to right
    • Y. Gomes: Ball, Ball, Gomes grounded out to second, Dozier to second
    • P. Corbin: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Corbin struck out swinging
    • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 4TH INNING
    • P. Corbin Pitching:
    • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Gordon singled to left center
    • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Dozier singled to center, Gordon to second
    • J. Soler: Ball, Soler lined out to left
    • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Cuthbert singled to center, Gordon out at home, Dozier to second
    • N. Lopez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Lopez struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Junis Pitching:
    • A. Rendon: Strike looking, Rendon popped out to shortstop
    • J. Soto: Ball, Strike looking, Soto grounded out to second
    • M. Adams: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Adams struck out looking
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • P. Corbin Pitching:
    • M. Maldonado: Strike swinging, Ball, Maldonado grounded out to second
    • J. Junis: Junis grounded out to second
    • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Merrifield doubled to deep center
    • A. Mondesi: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • J. Junis Pitching:
    • P. Corbin: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Corbin struck out swinging
    • T. Turner: Turner grounded out to third
    • A. Eaton: Ball, Strike looking, Eaton lined out to shortstop
    • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • P. Corbin Pitching:
    • H. Dozier: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
    • J. Soler: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Soler doubled to deep center
    • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Cuthbert struck out swinging
    • N. Lopez: Ball, Strike swinging, Lopez grounded out to first
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • J. Junis Pitching:
    • J. Soto: Soto grounded out to first
    • M. Adams: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Adams grounded out to first
    • B. Dozier: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Dozier homered to left center
    • V. Robles: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Robles reached on an infield single to shortstop
    • Y. Gomes: Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Gomes flied out to right
    • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • P. Corbin Pitching:
    • W. Merrifield: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Merrifield struck out swinging
    • A. Mondesi: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Mondesi struck out looking
    • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Junis Pitching:
    • T. Turner: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Turner struck out swinging
    • A. Eaton: Foul, Ball, Eaton lined out to center
    • A. Rendon: Rendon lined out to shortstop
    • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)