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Soto, Cruz pound Mets’ Megill early, Nationals win 8-3 | Sports



WASHINGTON (AP) — Nationals supervisor Dave Martinez had seen encouraging indicators from Nelson Cruz, who was signed within the offseason to supply veteran muscle behind Juan Soto however has struggled to date. Soto mentioned Cruz’s constantly optimistic perspective has buoyed the staff throughout its tough begin.

Both had been thrilled to see what Cruz did on Wednesday night time, a no-doubt three-run blast to left-center discipline because the Nationals jumped on Tylor Megill and the first-place New York Mets in an 8-3 victory.

“It was a long way,” Soto mentioned of Cruz’s homer, which traveled an estimated 436 toes. “It’s great to see him hitting the ball like that.”

Soto hit a two-run homer within the Nationals’ five-run first inning as Washington despatched Megill to the earliest exit of his profession.

“He’s got a pretty good fastball. I know he’s going to throw it,” Soto mentioned. “He threw me four in a row, and I won’t let him throw me five in a row by me.”

Cruz, who got here in batting .170 with three homers, adopted within the second along with his 453rd profession longball, passing Carl Yastrzemski for thirty ninth all-time.

Megill (4-2) walked the following batter and his night time was over. He recorded 4 outs whereas permitting eight runs on eight hits with a stroll and successful batter, shedding his second straight begin as his ERA swelled from 2.43 to 4.41. The second-year right-hander’s earlier shortest outing got here Sept. 15, when he allowed six runs in three innings in a loss to St. Louis.

“An outing like this, as bad as it went, just can’t really dwell over it,” Megill mentioned. “Obviously it was a bad outing, but I’m capable of way more. I’m not going to let this one define me.”

Staked to an enormous lead, Aaron Sanchez (2-2) pitched to contact, retiring the aspect on 11 pitches within the third inning, 10 within the fourth and 6 within the fifth. He did not strike out a batter till he fanned Francisco Lindor main off the sixth. Pete Alonso then hit a comebacker that struck Sanchez within the heel of his glove hand, ending his longest begin of the season.

“Hand’s good, no broken bone,” Sanchez mentioned. “It’s going to be swollen, it’s going to hurt, but I’ll be fine.”

Alonso hit a two-run homer within the first, his eighth this season, to offer the Mets a 3-0 lead that shortly vanished.

“I’m trying to go out there and get guys out in three pitches or less,” Sanchez mentioned. “Get my hitters back in the dugout as fast as I can, get them in that groove, keep that groove.”

NL East-leading New York misplaced by 5 or extra runs for the third time this season and should win Thursday’s rubber sport towards its last-place rival to keep away from dropping a sequence for the primary time. The Mets have gained eight sequence and cut up one.

MOP-UP WORK

Trevor Williams relieved Megill and labored 3 2/3 scoreless innings, adopted by Stephen Nogosek, who tossed three hitless innings in his first look this season.

“I think we’ve proved that if the game’s still going, we have a chance,” Nogosek mentioned. “I knew if I went out there and put up zeroes, kept us in the ballgame, there was a chance that we could win that game.”

Washington relievers Austin Voth, Victor Arano and Paulo Espino saved the Mets off the board for 3 2/3 innings.

FULL EXTENSION

Nationals second baseman César Hernández made a leaping seize of Starling Marte’s liner to finish the seventh. He additionally had three hits from the leadoff spot. His one-out single within the third was Washington’s final hit of the sport.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: RHP Sean Reid-Foley had Tommy John ligament-replacement surgical procedure on Wednesday and can rehab in hopes of returning in 2023.

Nationals: SS Alcides Escobar was out of the lineup for a second straight day due to an an infection below the nail on his left index finger. … RHPs Stephen Strasburg (restoration from thoracic outlet syndrome surgical procedure) and Joe Ross (proper elbow bone spur elimination) reported no points after throwing simulated video games at prolonged spring coaching in Florida.

UP NEXT

New York’s Taijuan Walker (0-0, 4.91 ERA) and Washington’s Joan Adon (1-5, 6.99) are the starters for Thursday’s sequence finale. Walker has confronted the Phillies in every of his three begins this season, which was interrupted by a stint on the injured record with proper shoulder bursitis. Adon allowed 4 runs in 4 1/3 innings in his season debut, a loss to the Mets on April 9.

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