WASHINGTON — Michael A. Taylor’s second homer of the season helped the “visiting” Nationals knock around struggling Hyun-Jin Ryu and beat the home-away-from-home Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 Thursday before both teams head into a coronavirus-caused “mini All-Star break,” as Washington manager Dave Martinez called it.
Kurt Suzuki delivered a two-run double, and Asdrubal Cabrera added an RBI double off Ryu (0-1), who gave up Taylor’s two-run shot to straightaway center.
Ryu’s ERA is 8.00 after he allowed five runs and nine hits in 4⅓ innings, his second start under an $80 million, four-year deal Toronto gave him after he was second in NL Cy Young Award voting for the Dodgers in 2019.
Erick Fedde, making his second start in place of a sidelined Stephen Strasburg, gave up two runs in 3⅓ innings. Ryne Harper (1-0) followed and got five outs for the win. Daniel Hudson (Lynchburg, ODU) pitched the ninth to earn his first save of the year.
Nationals rookie third baseman Carter Kieboom reached base four times — two singles, two walks — and scored twice.
Teoscar Hernandez homered twice, giving him four during this four-game series at Washington, and Cavan Biggio hit a solo shot for Toronto.
Technically, the Blue Jays were the “home” team for the last two games; they are barred from their Toronto stadium in 2020 and waiting for a Triple-A ballpark in Buffalo to be readied for major league action.
And it appears that Washington will be the Blue Jays’ home for a bit longer. That’s because neither they nor the Nationals will play again until Tuesday, a four-day gap that is normally unheard of in baseball, where clubs can go weeks at a time without any respite.
For Washington, 1B-DH Howie Kendrick missed a second game in a row because of upper back stiffness.
Strasburg, out because of a nerve problem in his pitching hand, planned to throw off flat ground Thursday and mix in all of his pitches after just going with fastballs on Wednesday.
Toronto right-fielder Derek Fisher (UVA) left after the third inning with a tight left quad. Bichette doubled twice in his return after missing three games with a tight left hamstring.
Braves 2, Rays 1: Max Fried retired Tampa Bay’s first 14 batters and combined with three relievers on a four-hitter as Atlanta beat the visiting Rays.
Dansby Swanson had a run-scoring single in Atlanta’s two-run second inning.
Fried (1-0) struck out seven and walked one while allowing one run in 6ª innings. The left-hander improved to 4-0 in four interleague starts.
Luke Jackson, and Shane Greene combined for four outs before Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his second save.
Royals 5, Tigers 3: Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save since 2017 as visiting Kansas City beat Detroit, overcoming Miguel Cabrera’s first multihomer game since 2016.
Rosenthal has struggled with his health and his effectiveness in recent years, finishing 2019 with a 13.50 ERA in 22 appearances with the Nationals and Tigers. When he retired JaCoby Jones on a grounder to end the game, he gave his glove a little celebratory tap.
Cabrera hit solo homers in the first and eighth. Cabrera has 480 homers for his career.