ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jake Irvin pitched six effective innings, CJ Abrams hit a leadoff homer and the Washington Nationals beat Tampa Bay Rays 8-1 on Saturday, stopping a four-game skid.

Irvin (6-6) allowed one hit — Brandon Lowe’s first-inning homer — struck out five and walked three. The right-hander has permitted two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his last 15 starts.

Derek Law, Hunter Harvey, and Kyle Finnegan each got three outs for the Nationals, completing a two-hitter.

Abrams connected for his third leadoff homer this season. He also hit an RBI double off Shawn Armstrong during Washington’s six-run seventh.

Harold Ramírez, who was released by Tampa Bay on June 13 and signed with Washington two days later, hit a two-run triple during the seventh in his first game against his former team.

The Rays dropped back under. 500 at 41-42. Tampa Bay hasn’t been over .500 since May 21.

Yandy Díaz went 0 for 4, ending his Tampa Bay-record 20-game hitting streak. He hit a 109-mph liner to first in the eighth.

The Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on some nifty baserunning by Luis García Jr. He dashed home on an Aaron Civale (2-6) wild pitch that ended up in front of the plate.

Right after hitting what should have been a catchable foul ball that got stuck on an overhanging catwalk, Lowe tied it at 1 with his sixth homer. He had been limited to one pinch-hit at-bat since breaking his right pinky toe on June 22.

Civale extended his winless start streak to 14. The right-hander issued four walks while allowing two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.


Nationals: OF Jesse Winker, who left Friday’s game in the first inning after bruising his knee while stumbling and falling hard to the ground making a catch, started and hit an RBI single in the seventh.


Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (1-7, 5.46 ERA) and Rays RHP Taj Bradley (2-4, 3.81 ERA) are Sunday’s starters.



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