Toronto’s bullpen implodes as the Jays fall 9-3 against the Washington Nationals

After a disappointing 2-4 home stand, a sense of urgency loomed over the Toronto Blue Jays heading into their series against the Washington Nationals.

Toronto came in two games below .500 at (15-17), with an offense ranked 28th in Major League Baseball, averaging 3.4 runs per game. Despite desperately needing a win, the Jays suffered another tough loss, falling 9-3 to the rebuilding Nationals.

The Jays started the game off strong, scoring three runs in the 2nd inning. It helped that the Jays faced Patrick Corbin, arguably the worst-qualified starting pitcher in MLB since 2021, with a (25-53) record and an average 6.03 ERA during those four years.

Despite giving up three runs early, Corbin settled in to pitch six innings, allowing only six hits and striking out three.

Meanwhile, Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi pitched six strong innings, allowing one earned run while striking out seven, giving Toronto a chance to win their first game since Monday.

However, the game suddently took a bad turn for Toronto. Reliever Erik Swanson came into the game, allowing two straight batters to reach base before giving up a three-run homer to pinch hitter Luis García Jr. to make it 4-3 Nationals.

Swanson has now allowed 11 earned runs in five innings pitched this season after coming off the IL in April. After Swanson could not record an out, the Jays were forced to quickly turn to LHP Tim Mayza. The lefty allowed two hits and an earned run to make it 5-3 Washington.

Jays reliever Génesis Cabrera came out for the 8th inning, hoping to keep the game within two runs. After Cabrera loaded the bases, a liner at Jays second baseman Isiah Kiner-Falelfa allowed Alex Call to score from third. But, an errand throw from Kiner-Falelfa into the dugout allowed another run to score, making it 7-3 Washington.

The Nationals scored two more in the 8th, ultimately beating the Jays 9-3.

Toronto looks to salvage the second game of this series, as the Jays send ace Kevin Gausman (1-3, 4.50) to the mound Saturday afternoon, facing Nationals RHP Jake Irvin (2-2, 4.28).

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