TORONTO – Carter Kieboom and Keibert Ruiz homered for the Washington Nationals in a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.
Kieboom hit a two-run shot in the second inning off Toronto starter Jose Berrios and Ruiz added a three-run blast in the fifth.
Davis Schneider homered for the Blue Jays, who started the day 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot in the American League standings.
Toronto loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth inning but could only push one run across.
Kyle Finnegan struck out Schneider and got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on an RBI groundout. Danny Jansen worked a full count before popping up to end the game.
Toronto is chasing Houston and Texas in the wild-card race. The Astros and Rangers entered play in a virtual tie for the final two spots.
Washington starter MacKenzie Gore (7-10) allowed one earned run and six hits over five innings. He had two walks and two strikeouts.
Finnegan survived the nervous ninth for his 25th save as the Nationals (62-71) won for the sixth time in nine games. Toronto (72-61) has dropped five of its last seven.
With Dominic Smith on board after a single, Kieboom turned on a first-pitch sinker for his third homer of the season. Schneider halved the lead with his sixth home run of the year.
In the fifth, Berrios (9-10) was a strike away from a scoreless frame but Joey Meneses singled on a full-count pitch to put runners on the corners. Ruiz followed with his 16th homer of the season.
Berrios gave up five earned runs and six hits over his six-inning appearance. He had two strikeouts and walked a pair.
Washington’s Jacob Young recorded his first big-league hit with a bunt single in the seventh inning against Bowden Francis.
Schneider drove in Cavan Biggio with an RBI double in the bottom half of the frame to cut into Washington’s lead. Hunter Harvey relieved Mason Thompson and got Guerrero on a grounder for the third out.
The Blue Jays brought the potential tying run to the plate in the eighth. Whit Merrifield moved to third base on an Alejandro Kirk double and later scored on a wild pitch.
Kirk took third base and tried to score on pinch-hitter Daulton Varsho’s fly out to centre field. Young’s throw was on target and Ruiz made the tag for the inning-ending double-play.
Announced attendance was 39,722.
Recent call-up Ernie Clement started at shortstop for Toronto after Bo Bichette was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right quadriceps muscle strain.
Bichette’s second IL stint this month came a day after third baseman Matt Chapman went on the 10-day list with a finger injury.
Santiago Espinal started at third base for the Blue Jays.
The teams will close out the three-game series Wednesday with a mid-afternoon matchup.
Right-hander Chris Bassitt (12-7, 4.00 earned-run average) is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays against left-hander Patrick Corbin (9-11, 4.70).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2023.
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