Adon, Robles help Nats get doubleheader sweep of D-backs

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Joan Adon became the first Nationals starter to finish six innings in 2022, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless on Tuesday night to help Washington beat the punchless Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 and sweep a doubleheader.

Adon, robles help nats get doubleheader sweep of d-backs
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Adon (1-2), a 23-year-old right-hander making his fourth appearance in the majors, gave up three hits and walked two while striking out five. He never allowed a runner to reach third base.

In Game 1, played before a record-low announced crowd of 9,261 at Nationals Park, Victor Robles — who started the season 0 for 18 and was batting .045 in 2022 when he stepped to the plate to face Arizona starter Madison Bumgarner — delivered an RBI double for Washington’s first hit in the fifth, sending the hosts on their way to a 6-1 victory.

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Robles played a key role in Game 2, too, singling to lead off the sixth against spot starter Tyler Gilbert (0-1) before coming around to score the lone run on a double by César Hernández.

Gilbert, called up Tuesday from Triple-A Reno to make his seventh major league start, was nearly as good as Adon, allowing one run and three hits over 5 2/3 innings.

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The Diamondbacks entered with major league lows for batting average (.152) and runs (21), and the sweep dropped their record to 3-8. They are averaging two runs per game.

In the second game, Robles got a two-strike single to left, and Lucius Fox put down a sacrifice bunt that Gilbert fielded cleanly, but first baseman Christian Walker dropped the throw for an error. Walker’s vision might have been obstructed by Fox’s red helmet, which came off and got kicked up by one of his feet as he ran to the bag, eventually leaving Walker with a bleeding nose.

Hernández’s double off the base of the wall in left brought home Robles.

That was enough for Washington, which got the last eight outs from its bullpen — although not without some trouble in the ninth. Tanner Rainey put the first three batters aboard via a walk and two singles, then retired the next three for his third save.

In the opener, Josiah Gray (2-1) went 5 1/3 innings for Washington, allowing just one run and three hits with eight strikeouts. Nationals manager Dave Martinez replaced him with lefty Sean Doolittle with two left-handed batters due up in the sixth.

“He wants to go deeper in games, but when you’re in the fifth inning with 80-something pitches already, I thought that was it for him,” Martinez said about Gray, one of the top prospects Washington received in the trade that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July. “I wanted him to come out feeling good about himself — and he did that.”

Gray’s take on being removed?

“Never really want the ball taken from me,” he said, “but I understood the situation.”

Daulton Varsho produced the Diamondbacks’ only run on an 18-inning day by driving a 94 mph first-pitch fastball from Gray to straightaway center in the third.

Bumgarner (0-1) gave up two unearned runs and two hits in his five innings. He walked four and struck out five.

The lefty whiffed the first two batters of the fifth, but that’s when Arizona unraveled, starting with a defensive miscue on a windy afternoon in which napkins flew from the stands and littered the outfield grass: Second baseman Ketel Marte didn’t hold onto a popup that should have been the third out.

That brought up No. 9 hitter Robles. Bumgarner left a two-strike pitch over the plate, and Robles smacked it down the left-field line to tie the game.

“I don’t focus on my personal numbers at all,” said Robles, who produced a two-run single on Sunday to lift his average from .000. “As long as I feel good out there, and the team’s winning, that’s all that matters.”

Hernández followed with an RBI double.

NOT MANY FOLKS

Other than in 2020 and 2021, when there were limits on spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Game 1 attendance was the fewest fans announced for a Nationals home game since the team moved to Washington from Montreal for the 2005 season.

The previous low was 10,999 for a game against Houston in September 2010.

The Nationals give the numbers of tickets sold, not the number of people who actually are in the ballpark. There appeared to be fewer than the official total on a gray day with the temperature in the 40s and two teams that began the day in last place.

The announced crowd for Game 2 was 11,720.

LET’S PLAY TWO

Rain washed out the series opener Monday, leading to the first doubleheader of the nascent baseball season (the Giants and Mets started another rain-created twinbill later Tuesday) — and the first involving nine-inning games since Sept. 28, 2019. Major League Baseball used seven-inning doubleheaders as part of rules changes amid the pandemic, but restored the full-length games for 2022.

MAKIN’ MOVES

Arizona claimed RHP Jacob Webb from the Braves and optioned him to Triple-A Reno. The Diamondbacks also designated OF Stuart Fairchild for assignment.

DOO’S STREAK OVER

Doolittle’s streak of retiring every batter he faced to start the season ended at 15 when No. 16, Seth Beer, doubled off him in the sixth of Game 1.

UP NEXT

Arizona RHP Merrill Kelly (0-0, 0.00 ERA) faces Washington RHP Erick Fedde (1-0, 3.60) on Wednesday.

___

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

Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press

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