Starlin Castro’s RBI double and Josh Harrison’s sacrifice fly in the 11th inning provided the decisive runs in the Washington Nationals’ 9-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Ryan Zimmerman hit two home runs and drove in three runs as the Nationals split the two-game series while snapping their three-game losing streak and ending the Rays’ three-game winning streak.
Tampa Bay lost for only the fifth time in its past 25 games and second time in its past 11 home games.
The Rays rallied from two-run deficits three times, with Randy Arozarena fueling two of those comebacks. Arozarena, who went 3 for 5 with three RBIs, led off the bottom of the 10th with a triple that scored Austin Meadows to cut the Rays’ deficit to 7-6.
Joey Wendle, who tied the game at 5 with a pinch-hit solo home run off Nationals reliever Daniel Hudson in the eighth, then tied the game at 7 with an RBI single off Brad Hand (3-2).
But in the 11th, Castro hit the first pitch he saw from Diego Castillo (2-3) off the left field wall, driving in pinch runner Jordy Mercer from second.
Earlier, Zimmerman tied the game at 3 with a solo homer to right field in the top of the third off Rays rookie starter Shane McClanahan.
Juan Soto, who hit a two-run homer in the first inning, drew a walk to lead off the top of the fifth. Zimmerman followed with a 393-foot homer off Rays reliever Jeffrey Springs to give Washington a 5-3 lead.
Zimmerman, who has eight home runs this season, recorded his first multi-homer game since April 21, 2019.
Tanner Rainey picked up his first save of the season after working around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 11th. He struck out two.
Castro and Victor Robles each went 2 for 5. The Rays’ Taylor Walls hit his first career home run in the bottom of the seventh.
–Field Level Media