Rafael Devers' 2-run double in the 8th inning lifts Red Sox over Nationals 4-2

BOSTON (AP) — Rafael Devers hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday.

Wearing their alternate bright-yellow jerseys with powder-blue lettering, numbers and caps, the Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak with just their second victory in eight games.

“He's been fighting his swing, trying to stay on pitches,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Devers. “Raffy against anybody, we'll take that.”

Devers hit his two-out double over the head of left fielder Eddie Rosario off Robert Garcia (0-2) after Tyler O’Neill was intentionally walked.

Pinch hitter Romy Gonzalez had reached on a fielder's choice and went to second on the same play when shortstop CJ Abrams threw the ball into Boston's dugout for an error, trying to turn a double play. It looked as though Gonzalez would have beaten the throw anyway.

“I thought that was the right matchup," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of his lefty reliever facing Devers, a left-handed batter. “It was a good battle out there. He even fouled a couple of tough pitches off, Raffy just got the best of him today.”

Devers knew he hit it well enough to get over Rosario, who turned and tried to make a play on the ball.

“I hit it very hard, so I knew something was going to happen,” Devers said through a team translator. “When I saw where he was playing, I knew he was playing a little bit short, so I knew something good was going to happen.”

Chris Martin (2-1) worked a scoreless inning and Kenley Jansen got three outs for his sixth save, the 426th of his career.

Wilyer Abreu hit a solo homer and Jarren Duran added an RBI double for Boston.

Rosario and Joey Meneses each hit a solo homer for the Nationals, with Meneses’ his first this season.

Meneses hit a 2-2 sweeper from Cooper Criswell over the Green Monster, pushing the Nationals ahead 1-0 in the second. When he rounded second base, he looked at the Nats’ dugout, spreading his arms with a wide smile on his face with a look of relief that he finally hit his first.

“Yeah, he was happy,” Martinez said, smiling. “Good to get that first one out of the way.”

Abreu tied it with his shot into Washington’s bullpen an inning later before Rosario hit a fly ball in the fifth that barely cleared the 37-foot Monster, bouncing off the top before caroming toward the left-field foul pole.

Washington starter Jake Irvin allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six without a walk in the longest start of his two-year career.

Duran’s double tied it in the fifth after David Hamilton reached on a fielder’s choice when he failed to get a sacrifice down, but made up for it by stealing second.

Criswell struck out a career-best nine over five innings, giving up two runs — on solo homers — and three hits with a walk.

Entering the day, Boston’s starters had an MLB-best 2.39 ERA. Overall, the Red Sox's staff had a 2.78 ERA, lowest by the club at this point in a season since 1920.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Cora said right-hander Garrett Whitlock (strained left oblique) will make a rehab start for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Nationals LHP MacKenzie Gore (2-3, 3.44 ERA) is slated to start Sunday series finale against RHP Brayan Bello (3-1, 3.04), who's expected to come off the injured list and start for the first time since April 19. He has been sidelined since experiencing right lat tightness.

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