Hernandez, Solarte hit back-to-back HRs, Jays beat Nats 8-6
TORONTO (AP) — Washington Nationals reliever Ryan Madson had spent the past couple of weeks thinking about how long he’d gone between giving up home runs.
He won’t have to wonder about it any more after the Toronto Blue Jays burned him with back-to-back blasts.
Teoscar Hernandez and Yangervis Solarte broke a tie with consecutive home runs in the eighth inning, Randal Grichuk added a pair of solo shots and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Washington Nationals 8-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Hernandez and Solarte connected off Madson (1-3) as the Blue Jays won their seventh consecutive home game. Hernandez hit his 12th home run while Solarte’s was his team-leading 15th.
“Everybody knows Madson is one of the best relievers in the league,” Hernandez said. “We made some adjustments, took good swings, and hit it hard.”
Madson last gave up a home run on June 4, 2017, while pitching for Oakland against Washington, when Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run shot.
“I’ve been thinking about it a little bit because it seemed like it had been a while,” Madson said of his year-plus streak. “It’s kind of been on my mind for the last couple of weeks.”
Madson, who allowed two home runs in all of 2017, blamed poor fastball command for his rough outing.
“I envisioned the inning going a lot different than that, obviously,” he said. “The stuff was good but no command of it.”
Hernandez went 3 for 4 and was hit by a pitch, reaching bases four times.
Grichuk went 3 for 3 with a bases-loaded walk. He homered off Tanner Roark in the second and went deep again off Shawn Kelley in the fifth. The homers were the sixth and seven of the season for Grichuk, five of which have come in June.
Kevin Pillar and Kendrys Morales each had two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who are 6-2 in interleague play this season.
“Every game we win means a lot,” Hernandez said. “We’re just trying to get closer to the fight for first and second (wild card) spots.”
Washington has lost five of six.
“You never want to get swept but I’m glad we swung the bats today,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We haven’t been swinging very well. I’ll take our chances very time we score six runs.”
Grichuk snapped a 5-5 tie with an RBI single off Justin Miller in the seventh but the Nationals answered in the eighth with Brian Goodwin’s RBI single off Toronto’s Tyler Clippard.
Ryan Tepera (4-2) pitched the final 1 1-3 innings for the win.
Slumping Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper started as the designated hitter and went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .217.
Harper, who has seven hits in his past 51 at bats, flied out to leave the bases loaded against Tepera in the eighth.
Neither starter lasted more than four innings. Blue Jays right-hander Sam Gaviglio allowed three runs and six hits while Roark allowed four runs and eight hits.
“I stunk today,” Roark said.
Toronto allowed a season-worst five stolen bases, four of them by Michael A. Taylor. The five steals matched Washington’s season-high.
CATCH WITH DAD
On Father’s Day, the sons and daughters of several Blue Jays tossed ceremonial first pitches to their dads, a group that included Solarte, Pillar, Morales, Aledmys Diaz and pitchers J.A Happ and John Axford.
Gaviglio left before the game was over to fly home to Washington state after learning his wife had gone into labor with the couple’s first child.
Nationals: 1B Matt Adams (left hand) was out of the lineup for a second straight day. Adams was hit by a pitch while attempting to bunt Friday. Daniel Muprhy made his second straight start at first.
Blue Jays: OF Steve Pearce (strained left oblique) went 2 for 2 with a walk in his second rehab game at Triple-A Buffalo. Pearce went 1 for 3 with a single and a walk Saturday.
Nationals: Washington returns home Monday to face the New York Yankees. The teams will resume a May 15 game that was suspended with the score tied 3-3 in the middle of the sixth inning. Following the completion of that game, the Nationals and Yankees will make up a May 16 game that was postponed by rain. RHP Erick Fedde (0-1, 5.91) will start the nine-inning game. The Yankees have not named a starter.
Blue Jays: After an off day Monday, Toronto begins a two-game series against Atlanta on Tuesday. LHP Jaime Garcia (2-5, 5.71) starts for the Blue Jays against Braves RHP Mike Soroka (2-1, 2.57). Garcia is winless in nine starts while Soroka took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his previous outing, June 13 against the New York Mets
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