Luis Garcia Jr. hits pinch, 3-run shot in 7th
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Garcia Jr. helped rally the Nationals to beat the Jays

Published May 4, 2024 at 12:03

In a thrilling seventh inning, Luis Garcia Jr. stepped up and delivered a moment of magic for the Washington Nationals. With one swing of the bat, he blasted a three-run homer deep into center field, marking his first-ever pinch-hit home run. This pivotal moment helped the Nationals secure a 9-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, who were struggling to keep up.

Garcia's connection came off an 85-mph splitter from Erik Swanson, giving Washington the lead at 4-3. The excitement didn't end there, as Nick Senzel later joined in with an RBI double, further fueling the Nationals' impressive comeback.

"I came just straight from hitting in the cage," Garcia said though a translator. "I was actually not trying to be too aggressive. I was just trying to focus on that at-bat to try to get pitch that was elevated. Fortunately he threw a splitter that hung a little bit and it was up and I was able to make good contact with it."

In the eighth inning, the Nationals took full advantage of two fielding errors, tacking on four more runs. This win is a boost for them, marking their sixth victory in the last eight games and bringing their record back to .500 at 16-16. It's worth noting that this comeback victory is their 11th of the season when trailing in the game.

"We are trying to get him not to chase," said manager Davey Martinez. "That's the biggest thing. He is a high ball hitter. Trying to get him to think middle in for the most part and stay in the middle of the field. He's been really good at doing that. He is doing well."

With a 3-1 lead, the Blue Jays' bullpen hit a rough patch. Swanson (0-2) and Tim Mayza had a tough time, giving up four runs on four hits and managing to secure just one out. It was a blow to the team after a promising start by Yusei Kikuchi. Génesis Cabrera, another reliever, also had a tough outing, allowing four runs in just two-thirds of an inning.

"Just leaving pitches up in the zone," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said about Swanson. "I don't know if he's tipping pitches, honestly. I'm not afraid to say that publicly. He's better than what he is showing right now."

Kikuchi had a solid outing, giving up just one run on six hits over six innings on 100 pitches. This marks his fifth consecutive start where he's gone six frames, matching a similar streak from 2021.

The Japanese pitcher showcased his skills by striking out seven batters, including six out of seven in the middle innings. Impressively, he's only walked one batter in his last 22 innings.

Despite taking an early 3-0 lead in the second, the Blue Jays have hit a rough patch, losing three games in a row and dropping eight of their last eleven.

"Obviously, the last few games have been pretty tough losses but we are all preparing really hard and practicing behind the scenes," Kikuchi said through a translator. "I trust we are going to turn it around sometime soon."

Varsho's two-run double off Nationals starter Patrick Corbin gave the Blue Jays an early boost, making it 3-0. Corbin rebounded after a shaky start, allowing three runs over six innings on six hits. Jacob Barnes sealed the win with a shutout inning of relief.

"Able to hold them to three there and get out of a jam in the next inning and then I felt really good after," Corbin said. "Just great to see the offense step up and put up some crooked numbers there late and get us back in the game."

Source : Luis Garcia Jr. hits pinch, 3-run shot in 7th to help the Nationals beat the Blue Jays 9-3
May 4   |   157 answers
Garcia Jr. helped rally the Nationals to beat the Jays

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