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Nationals use long ball to drop Angels, 7-3

Sportsnaut
May 7, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell (19) follows through on a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals got home runs from Josh Bell, Yadiel Hernandez and Nelson Cruz to pave the way to a 7-3 victory over the host Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night in Anaheim, Calif.

The Angels’ pitching staff entered the game on an 18-inning scoreless streak following consecutive shutouts of the Red Sox on Thursday and the Nationals on Friday. But the streak ended in the top of the first inning on Bell’s solo homer, one of two hits for the Nationals first baseman.

Third baseman Maikel Franco had two hits and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who had 10 hits in all. Everyone in Washington’s starting lineup had at least one hit except leadoff hitter Cesar Hernandez.

The Angels hit two home runs of their own, one by Jared Walsh and the other by Brandon Marsh, both coming in the fourth inning which cut Washington’s lead to 4-3.

But the Nationals pushed across a few insurance runs and got quality pitching the rest of the way to finish it off.

Nationals starter Josiah Gray (4-2) got the victory after giving up three runs on five hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings while striking out three. Steve Cishek, Erasmo Ramirez and Tanner Rainey combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Angels starter Michael Lorenzen (3-2) had his toughest outing of the season, giving up five runs on five hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out seven.

Solo homers by Bell in the first and Hernandez in the second staked Washington to a 2-0 lead. The Nationals increased their lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning on a two-run single by Franco before the Angels battled back in the bottom of the inning.

Los Angeles got on the scoreboard against Gray on a solo homer by Walsh. And after Max Stassi walked, Marsh homered to cut Washington’s lead to 4-3.

Lorenzen got the first two outs of the fifth inning before allowing a single by Bell, knocking Lorenzen out of the game. Elvis Peguero entered the game and allowed a two-run homer to Cruz, putting the Nationals up 6-3.

Peguero gave up an RBI double to Franco in the sixth.

–Field Level Media