Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1
Winner: Sanchez (14-2)
Loser: Gausman (8-13)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN: The Orioles (85-72) are two games behind Toronto (87-70) for the first wild-card spot. The Blue Jays lead the season series 10-7, so if the two teams tie for the top spot, Toronto would host the wild-card game on Oct. 4.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Kevin Gausman allowed five runs, four earned in six innings. He fell behind quickly when he allowed a two-run home run to Josh Donaldson in the first. Ezequiel Carrera also homered.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Michael Bourn nailed Russell Martin when he tried to stretch his single into a double in the fourth inning.
MACHADO’S ERROR: In the fifth, Edwin Encarnacion grounded to third with Donaldson on first. Machado fielded it and threw to second to start what he hoped would be an inning-ending double play, but threw it wildly, allowing Toronto’s fifth run to score.
SANCHEZ STRIKEOUTS: The right-hander struck out 10 Orioles in six innings. Adam Jones, who is now 2-for-20 (.100) against Sanchez, struck out in all three at-bats against him.
TRUMBO SINGLES: Mark Trumbo had two singles. It’s the first time he’s done that since Aug. 23.
DONALDSON’S DIVE: Gausman threw inside to Donaldson in the fifth. He danced all the way to the Blue Jays dugout but, unlike in Monday night’s game with the Yankees, there was no escalation of hostility.
DAVIS EJECTED, AND SO IS SHOWALTER: Chris Davis was ejected by home plate umpire Will Little for arguing about a called third strike.
Manager Buck Showalter was also ejected. It was his first ejection this season.
DAVIS’ STRIKEOUTS: Davis struck out three times. He has 213 strikeouts this season, third most in baseball history. He trails Mark Reynolds (223 in 2009) and Adam Dunn (222 in 2012).
WHAT’S NEXT? Chris Tillman (16-6, 3.84) faces Francisco Liriano (8-13, 4.88) on Wednesday night.
Postgame analysis of the Nats' 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.
How it happened: With All-Star Wilson Ramos now out for the rest of the regular season and playoffs with a torn right ACL, the Nationals will need others to step up and compensate for his loss. On defense, it will be up to Jose Lobaton and Pedro Severino. Ramos is an excellent defensive catcher, but his two backups are perfectly capable behind the dish.
On offense is where Ramos' absence will particularly hurt and that was noted by manager Dusty Baker on Tuesday after his diagnosis was revealed. Others in their lineup will have to raise their games to fill the void.
Time will tell how much Ramos is missed, but Tuesday was a good start. The Nationals saw several players contribute to a sixth inning rally that led them to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Lobaton got them started with a single to right field, the first hit of the night against Arizona rookie Matt Koch, who was making his MLB debut. Stephen Drew later drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. And after that it was Anthony Rendon who gave the Nats the lead with a three-run homer to left field.
That gave the Nationals enough to hand Max Scherzer his 19th win of the season. Scherzer lasted six innings on 98 pitches before he was pulled for a pinch-hitter.
The Nationals bounced back from their blowout loss in the series opener on Monday night and have now won three of four.
What it means: The Nationals improved to 92-65 on the season with just five games remaining.
Scherzer overcomes rocky start: Scherzer was solid on Tuesday night with six innings and two runs allowed on six hits and two walks. But his night didn't start out too well, as Scherzer gave up a solo homer to Jean Segura on the first pitch of the game. He allowed another run on a Welington Castillo double in the top of the third. After that, though, Scherzer settled in to retired seven straight batters with six consecutive strikeouts.
Scherzer finished with 10 strikeouts on the night to reach double digits for the 13th time this season and the 49th time in his career. He also got to 277 strikeouts on the season to set a new Nationals record, breaking his previous mark of 276 set just last year. Scherzer is the only active pitcher with at least two seasons of 275 strikeouts or more.
Rendon hits No. 19: Rendon's homer was his 19th of the season, two away from the career-high of 21 he set in 2014. It was also the 500th hit of his career. Rendon hasn't had the greatest month when it comes to getting on base, but he's driven plenty of runs in. With his three RBI on Tuesday, Rendon now has 22 for September, a career-high for a single month. He has 51 RBI in 64 games since the All-Star break.
Lobaton, Severino make an impact: Lobaton's hit to lead off the sixth and start their four-run rally was just a single, but was a positive sign for the Nats, who will need him to step up with Ramos out. Lobaton was replaced by Severino as a pinch-runner and Severino then came around to score on Drew's sacrifice fly. That duo may need to split a lot of playing time over the next few weeks and with Lobaton's sore right ankle, Severino could be replacing him on the basepaths late in close games quite often moving forward.
Up next: The Nationals play another 7:05 p.m. start on Wednesday night with lefty Gio Gonzalez (11-10, 4.51) set to face former Braves starter Shelby Miller (2-12, 6.47).
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