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Lane Thomas' 10th-inning sacrifice fly lifts the Nationals over the Tigers 5-4

DETROIT (AP) — Lane Thomas hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning and the Washington Nationals beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Andrew Chafin (3-2) struck out C.J. Abrams to start the 10th, but Jacob Young took third and Abrams reached first when the pitch sailed past Tigers catcher Jake Rogers.

Thomas put the Nationals ahead 5-4 with a sacrifice fly before Jesse Winker hit into an inning-ending double play.

Kyle Finnegan (2-3), who got the last out of the ninth, pitched a perfect 10th to get the win.

“He throws 100 and then the splitter is at 90,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He's at the back end of their bullpen for a reason.”

Nationals starter Mitchell Parker allowed four unearned runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Tigers starter Kenta Maeda allowed one run on one hit in four innings. He only threw 40 of his 77 pitches for strikes, walking four while striking out five.

Maeda only lasted two pitches in his previous start, leaving with abdominal discomfort, and struggled on Tuesday.

He started the game with six straight balls, and although he got through the first two innings without allowing a hit, he lost the strike zone in the third. He walked three batters, including Winker with the bases loaded, before striking out Eddie Rosario.

“I was trying to pitch on the borders of the zone, so I'm not happy about the walks,” said Maeda, who finished his outing with a perfect fourth. “I was able to limit it to one run, so mixed feelings overall.”

The Nationals made it 3-0 in the fifth. Abrams hit an RBI triple and scored on Thomas’ foul pop-up behind first. Mark Canha made a running catch, but Abrams easily beat the throw.

“That's a huge play, and it is because of both (third-base coach) Ricky (Gutierrez) and C.J.,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said. “They both knew exactly what we needed on that play.”

Parker, though, cost himself in the bottom of the inning when he misplayed Andy Ibanez’s routine two-out grounder.

“I'm not going to lie, I just sat there scratching my head,” Martinez said. “You can't get a ball easier than that one.”

After Canha drew a walk, Riley Greene hit a 1-2 fastball off the wall in right center field for a three-run triple, then scored the go-ahead run when Luis Garcia Jr.’s relay throw sailed past third.

“I probably let (the error) linger with me too long,” Parker said. “I just had to catch the ball and make a throw.”

The Nationals took advantage of errors by eighth-inning errors by Greene and Ryan Kriedler to tie the game on Ildemaro Vargas' sacrifice fly.

“Those are plays in close games that you want to take back and do over again,” Hinch said. “In a one-run game, those are killers.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: Placed SS Javier Báez on the 10-day injured list with lumbar spine inflammation. Báez is batting .183 with one home run in 53 games this season. Detroit recalled Kreidler from Triple-A Toledo.

Nationals: 1B Joey Gallo left the game after pulling his left hamstring. Martinez said he expects the team to make a roster move on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

The teams play for the second time in a three-game series on Wednesday night. RHP Reese Olson (1-7, 3.43 ERA) is scheduled to start for Detroit against RHP Jake Irvin (4-5, 3.12).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb