Nationals are victims of bizarre appeal play, Bryan Reynolds’s hot bat

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The Washington Nationals won the first two games of their three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with an unsustainable formula – leaving runners in position to score early, to get hits late to narrowly escape.

The hosts therefore opted for a more conventional course on Wednesday at Nationals Park, batting 16 hits. The problem was that Bryan Reynolds hit three home runs, almost single-handedly preventing Washington from completing a series sweep in an 8-7 Pirates win.

The Nationals entered Wednesday 2 of 22 with runners in scoring position in the first two games, but won both. Washington finished 7 for 14 in the morning and again lost.

Reynolds did his damage on three different pitchers – a two-run homer to left center from Paolo Espino in the first inning, a solo shot to the right from Carl Edwards Jr. in the sixth and a three-run explosion in the seventh, an opposite field fired into the visitor’s bullpen that knocked Kyle Finnegan’s head down the second his pitch made contact with Reynolds’ bat. The last homer made the difference despite the Nationals (29-49) making the last rounds interesting.

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Yadiel Hernandez hit a solo home run in the seventh to bring the Nationals within one. They charged the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Luis García flew to the left to end the threat.

“Even the last set I thought we were going to come back and at least tie the game, but that didn’t happen,” manager Dave Martinez said. “I’m proud of the way the boys are playing.”

The one-run loss was even harder to swallow considering what happened at the end of the fifth inning. With runners at second and third and one out, Josh Bell caught a drive down line from Ke’Bryan Hayes. Both runners took off on the swing, so Bell threw to third baseman Ehire Adrianza for the apparent third out.

Adrianza scored Hoy Park first before scoring third base. Referees said they never saw Adrianza tagging the base, although Adrianza said after the game that he did. Rule 5.09(c)(4) states that a defensive team is required to formally pitch or tag call a runner who leaves base too soon, even though this would technically qualify as the “fourth out.” of a sleeve.

Jack Suwinski scored from third right before Park was called out, and because the Nationals didn’t officially appeal if he left base early, the run counted.

Still, Washington had plenty of opportunities in a back-and-forth.

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After Reynolds’ first home run, Washington recorded five hits against Pirates starter Mitch Keller. Bell doubled up and Nelson Cruz singled on the next pitch to score Bell. Then Cruz came to score on Keibert Ruiz’s single to tie the match at 2.

Juan Soto, who entered Wednesday hitting 7-for-56 (.125) with runners in scoring position, doubled with two outs in the second inning to score Adrianza. But the Pirates regained the lead after Daniel Vogelbach’s home run in the fourth against Espino and the bizarre streak that accounted for a run in the fifth.

The Nationals took a late-inning lead behind hits from Ruiz and Yadiel Hernandez, and both had a chance to score on César Hernández’s two-out bloop single.

Ruiz thought there was one up the sleeve and waited for the ball to drop, so Hernandez was right behind him, and the two rushed home. Ruiz just beat the left-field pitch, but Hernandez was tagged at home.

Reynolds homered in each of the next two innings, and ultimately the Nationals ran out of answers.

“Today was his day,” Ruiz said.

“We had 16 hits, seven runs,” Bell said. “Yes, we could have hit more. I mean, there are always opportunities to drive in more races. But I think it looked like we had a lot to catch up on. And I’ll leave it at that.

What else does rule 5.09(c)(4) say about appeal? Plenty. “Appeal plays may require an umpire to recognize an apparent ‘fourth out.’ If the third out is made during a play in which an appeal play is held on another runner, the decision of the appeal play takes precedence to determine the out. If there is more than one call during a play that ends a half inning, the defense may choose to withdraw the out that gives them the advantage. For the purposes of this rule, the defensive team has “left the field” when the pitcher and all infielders have left the territory just by going to the bench or clubhouse. »

How did Mason Thompson kick off his rehab stints? Thompson (biceps tendonitis) made his third relief appearance in the last seven days for Class AAA Rochester on Tuesday night. He pitched two innings and allowed two hits, but recorded his third scoreless outing with the Red Wings. Martinez said his next step will be to pitch back-to-back days and pitch multiple innings.

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