WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Seth Beer's three hits and three RBIs propelled the dormant Arizona Diamondbacks to more than double their previous highest output of the season in an 11-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night after a pregame parachuting display caused a scare at the nearby U.S. Capitol.
Arizona entered with a 3-8 record, thanks largely to its woes at the plate, including the worst batting average (.156) and slugging percentage (.265) in the majors, along with the fewest runs (22 — two per game).
They hadn't pushed across more than five runs in any game in 2022 and tallied a grand total of one across 18 innings while getting swept in a doubleheader Tuesday.
“There’s probably a little pressing,” Arizona hitting coach Joe Mather acknowledged a few hours before Wednesday's game.
The Diamondbacks' 10 hits were spread out. There was at least one apiece for seven of the nine players in the starting lineup; the other two each drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The output was far more than Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (1-0) needed. The right-hander went six innings, giving up one run and a half-dozen hits. He hadn't allowed a run in 9 1/3 innings over his other two starts this season and his ERA is 0.59.
Washington's Erick Fedde (1-1), meanwhile, has a 6.75 ERA after this rough line: 3 1/3 innings, eight hits, six earned runs.
It was 4-0 after the third, 8-0 after the fourth, 11-0 after the fifth.
Arizona loaded the bases in the second with no outs thanks to a throwing error by shortstop Alcides Escobar — whose line of sight was obstructed by third baseman Mikael Franco as he moved toward the grounder — plus a walk and a single.
All the Diamondbacks got there was one unearned run, though.
In the third, Arizona managed to string together four consecutive one-out hits and parlayed those into three runs. Fedde was done after another three hits in a row in the fourth: two singles sandwiched around Daulton's Varsho's third homer of the year, a two-run shot.
Reliever Francisco Pérez made his Nationals debut that inning and gave up designated hitter Beer's two-run double.
“We’ve gotten guys on base when we needed to and sometimes someone couldn't come through with that big hit. That happens. That’s just baseball — that’s why we love this game and that’s why we hate it,” Beer, a rookie, said before the game. “But the more we can continue to get opportunities to be a threat when things will start to go our way. We’ve got to keep that mentality and things will start happening.”
They did — for a day, anyway.
The U.S. Capitol, a little more than a mile from the ballpark, briefly was evacuated shortly before the game because police said an aircraft posed “a probable threat” — but it turned out the plane was carrying members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights, who parachuted into Nationals Park as part of Military Appreciation Night.
Bell Departs Early
Nationals 1B Josh Bell left after the third inning; the team didn't immediately say why.
Nationals: LHP Sean Doolittle went on the 10-day IL with a sprained left elbow. The 35-year-old Doolittle felt sore during an appearance Tuesday. ... In other moves, Washington recalled two relievers from Rochester, Pérez and LHP Sam Clay, and optioned OF Donovan Casey to the Triple-A team.
In Thursday's series finale, Washington LHP Josh Rogers (1-1, 3.72 ERA) faces Arizona RHP Zach Davies (0-1, 5.79).
Watch more of the latest sports videos on the 12 News YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe!