Taylor, Suzuki lift Nats past Jays 6-4 before 4-day break

Taylor, Suzuki lift Nats past Jays 6-4 before 4-day break

Taylor, Suzuki lift Nats past Jays 6-4 before 4-day break

WASHINGTON — Starlin Castro is coming off a four-hit game. His Washington Nationals finally have their first consecutive wins of the season. So much for momentum, though.

That’s because now the Nationals — and their opponents Thursday, the Toronto Blue Jays — need to take four days off, a coronavirus-caused “mini All-Star break,” as Washington manager Dave Martinez called it.

Castro scored twice, rookie Carter Kieboom reached base four times and Michael A. Taylor homered as the “visiting” Nationals knocked around struggling Toronto starter Hyun-Jin Ryu to beat the home-away-from-home Blue Jays 6-4 Thursday.

“I’ve been feeling good. I’ve been hitting the ball hard,” said Castro, batting .360 through seven games in his first year with the Nationals. “The bad thing is, tomorrow we’re not going to play. And the next day, we’re not going to play. It’s tough.”

Kurt Suzuki delivered a two-run double and Asdrúbal Cabrera added an RBI double off Ryu (0-1), who gave up Taylor’s two-run shot to straightaway centre that he celebrated with a socially distanced dugout dance in the fourth. Taylor is 2 for 14 this season, a .143 average, but both hits cleared the fences.

Ryu’s ERA is 8.00 after he allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 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.

“I tried to replicate what I’d done in the past against the team,” Ryu, who had a 1.37 ERA against Washington last season, said through an interpreter, “but it just didn’t work out like I wanted.”

Erick Fedde, making his second start in place of a sidelined Stephen Strasburg, gave up two runs in 3 1/3 innings. Ryne Harper (1-0) followed and got five outs for the win. Daniel Hudson earned his first save.

And now they’ll get to relax Friday, then be back at Nationals Park to practice Saturday and Sunday — when the Blue Jays plan to do the same thing in the same place.

“Tomorrow, I want these guys just to take off. Don’t do anything. Basically, sit at home. Just rest,” Martinez said. “Saturday, we’re going to get after it again.”

Teoscar Hernández homered twice, giving him four during this four-game series at Washington, and Cavan Biggio hit a solo shot for Toronto.

Hernández said he’s been trying “to stay with the same plan I had at the end of last year: Have more patience. That’s the key to the good start.”

Technically, the Blue Jays were the “home” team for the past two games in D.C.; 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.

So Washington will be the Blue Jays’ home for a bit longer. 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.

In a season already delayed and cut to 60 games — at least — by the pandemic, odd scheduling is the norm now. Washington was supposed to be at Miami on Friday through Sunday, but the Marlins had more than half-a-roster’s worth of players test positive for the coronavirus and so aren’t allowed to play until next week at the earliest.

The Blue Jays were supposed to be in Philadelphia this weekend, but that series was postponed because the Phillies just hosted the Marlins.

Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said his squad would travel to Atlanta after a workout Sunday.

“This has never happened before, so we’re kind of doing things on the fly,” Montoyo said. “The main thing is to go day-to-day and make sure we try and keep guys sharp.”

UMPIRE HURT

Home plate umpire Joe West was bloodied when he was hit in the head by Bo Bichette’s flying bat in the first inning. The 67-year-old West left but returned in the third. Vic Carapazza took over as plate umpire; West shifted to third base.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Will Harris has “a little bit of a groin thing going on,” Martinez said. “We’re hoping to nip it in the bud and get him ready by Tuesday.” … 1B-DH Howie Kendrick missed a second game in a row because of upper back stiffness. Josh Harrison made his debut for Washington, going 0 for 4 as the DH.

Blue Jays: RF Derek Fisher 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.

UP NEXT

A lot of waiting around until the next game for both the Nationals and Blue Jays.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press

Blue Jays

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragic milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

In this undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Moderna chairman says Canada near head of line for 20 million vaccine doses

Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks during a news conference Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 in Ottawa. Poilievre says building up the Canadian economy post-pandemic can't be achieved without a massive overhaul of the tax system and regulatory regime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservatives attack Trudeau’s ‘reset’ but they have ideas for their own

‘We don’t need subsidized corporate welfare schemes that rely on endless bailouts from the taxpayer’

There were 47 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Spread of COVID-19 in Brampton, Ont., linked to systemic factors, experts say

‘We’re tired. We’re numb. We’re overworked. We’re frustrated, because it’s not our rules’

A couple embrace during a ceremony to mark the end of a makeshift memorial for victims of the Toronto van attack, at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto on Sunday, June 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
‘I’ve been spared a lot,’ van attack survivor says as she watches trial alone

Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

The Red Deer Games Foundation has made changes to its grant program as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo supplied)
Red Deer Games Foundation adjusts grant program due to COVID-19 pandemic

The foundation postponed the spring 2020 grant program due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read