Soriano rebounds with perfect ninth inning
By Daniel Popper
WASHINGTON – In his previous nine appearances before Wednesday night, Nationals closer Rafael Soriano compiled a 13.06 ERA, surrendering nine earned runs on 12 hits over 6.2 innings. He blew two saves in six chances and saw his 2014 ERA skyrocket from 1.96 to 2.54, a season-worst for the right-hander.
The rough stretch prompted manager Matt Williams to give Soriano Monday and Tuesday off. And on Wednesday night against the D-backs, Soriano rebounded with a perfect top of the ninth inning in a tie ballgame.
The performance proved crucial, as the Nationals pulled out a walk-off, 3-2 victory in the bottom half on an RBI single from pinch-hitter Anthony Rendon.
“He had a really good fastball tonight, 92-93. Good slider,” Williams said. “Everything was crisp. A couple of days off really helped him.”