WASHINGTON (AP) — Pavin Smith homered and drove in three runs and the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied against Washington’s beleaguered bullpen to beat the Nationals 10-5 on Tuesday night.
Josh Rojas also had three RBIs for Arizona, which moved ahead of Los Angeles for the NL West lead soon after the game when the Dodgers blew a late lead at Cincinnati. The Diamondbacks have won seven of nine to improve to 36-25.
“We just chipped away,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said after his team trailed 4-1 after one inning. “That was my mindset. It was still early. We had a chance to play catch-up if we did what we did best with controlling the zone and trying to get guys on base.”
Former Diamondback Stone Garrett hit his first career grand slam for last-place Washington, which has lost three in a row and six of eight. Lane Thomas also homered for the Nationals.
Washington entered the day with the worst bullpen ERA in the National League at 4.73, and Arizona took full advantage when starter Jake Irvin was pulled after hitting Corbin Carroll to open the fifth inning.
Reliever Erasmo Ramírez (2-3) plunked Christian Walker with his first pitch, committed a balk to move over both runners and walked Emmanuel Rivera to load the bases. Arizona sandwiched a pair of sacrifice flies around Gabriel Moreno’s RBI single to make it 6-4.
Ramírez has allowed runs in five of his last six outings, and his ERA has jumped from 4.03 to 6.33 in that span.
Rojas added a two-run single in the sixth, and Smith swatted a two-run shot to left-center in the seventh as the Diamondbacks expanded their lead against Chad Kuhl.
Arizona drew eight walks, including five in five innings against the Nationals’ bullpen.
“The walks are going to kill us every time,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “We have to start pounding the strike zone again.”
José Ruiz (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the victory.
Garrett’s grand slam in the first off Arizona starter Tommy Henry gave Washington a 4-1 lead. The Diamondbacks got two back in the fourth when Moreno and Smith had RBI singles off Irvin, who allowed four runs in four-plus innings.
“I knew we just had to hang around long enough for the offense to score some runs,” said Henry, who allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings. “You put up a 10-spot, you’re going to win a lot of games when you do that.”
Diamondbacks: OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was out of the lineup for the second game in a row with right groin tightness.
Nationals: Washington recalled RHP Jordan Weems from Triple-A Rochester and designated RHP Andrés Machado for assignment. Machado was 0-0 with an 8.47 ERA in 14 games. … RHP Victor Arano, who has not pitched this season, will undergo shoulder surgery later this month. … OF Victor Robles (back spasms) has taken batting practice on the field and could begin a rehab assignment this week. … RHP Tanner Rainey threw off a mound for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in August.
PELOSI’S FIRST PITCH
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw out the first pitch before the Nationals’ annual Night Out game celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (4-5, 4.92) will start against his former team Wednesday night. Corbin is 0-2 with a 13.86 ERA in two starts against Arizona since leaving the Diamondbacks after the 2018 season. RHP Zach Davies (0-1, 5.40 ERA) is set to start for Arizona. He’s 4-0 with a 2.97 ERA in six career starts against Washington.