MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Cleveland0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 260
Washington1 0 2 0 0 4 0 1 x 8140
  W: J. Ross (4-4)   L: M. Clevinger (13-4)
12:05 PM PT1:05 PM MT2:05 PM CT3:05 PM ET15:05 ET19:05 GMT3:05 12:05 PM MST2:05 PM EST2:35 PM VEN23:05 UAE2:05 PM CT, September 29, 2019
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 36,764

With home field for wild card clinched, Nats can rest in finale

The Washington Nationals can finally rest Sunday.

At least some of the regulars can. And for just one game.

After winning seven straight games in a week of must-win games, the Nationals (92-69) clinched home field in Tuesday night's National League wild-card game with a 10-6 win over the Indians on Saturday.

Now the Nationals can finally take a breath and rest some regulars as they wait to see whether they'll be welcoming the Milwaukee Brewers or St. Louis Cardinals to Nationals Park.

"Obviously, we would like to play here other than anywhere else," veteran first baseman Ryan Zimmerman told reporters Saturday. "We're just happy to be in and at this point. We're going to have to win games everywhere in all situations. (We're) obviously really happy and excited to play here, but at the end of the day, we're going to have to win everywhere."

The Indians (93-68) were eliminated from American League wild-card contention on Friday night and will be looking to avoid ending the season with a fifth straight loss.

Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger (13-3, 2.39 ERA) is slated to oppose right-hander Joe Ross (3-4, 5.90) in the finale.

The 28-year-old Clevinger, who missed two months early on with a lower back strain, sports a 1.76 ERA dating back to the start of July. He's pitched 13 innings over his past two starts without allowing a run. His last time out Tuesday he threw seven scoreless innings in an 11-0 win over the Chicago White Sox, allowing five hits while striking out 10 with one walk.

It's also possible that Clevinger won't make the start given Cleveland's elimination.

"If he came to us and said that maybe it would be good for him not to (start), we'd certainly honor that," manager Terry Francona told reporters before Saturday's game. "But to this point he probably wants to pitch. We'd probably keep a little bit of a leash on him. Carl (Willis, pitching coach) is going to talk to him."

Ross has posted a 2.97 ERA over his last seven starts. On Tuesday, he gave up a run on five hits over four innings in a 4-1 Nationals win.

On Saturday, Gerardo Parra's grand slam capped a nine-run second inning in the clincher for Washington. The Nationals collected 11 hits and five walks. Starter Patrick Corbin, staked to a 9-0 lead, lasted only 4 1/3 innings, however, as he surrendered six runs on seven hits.

Daniel Hudson (9-3) was credited with the win as Washington relievers allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings.

"We've been playing really great baseball," Corbin told reporters after the game. "Offense came out today hot, and the bullpen came in and did their job, too. We're hot at the right time, and hopefully guys can get some rest here the next couple days and be ready to go Tuesday at home."

Jordan Luplow homered twice for Cleveland. Eric Haase and Franmil Reyes also homered for the Indians, who set a team record for home runs in a season with 222.

"Luplow, since he's come back (from Triple-A Columbus on April 28), has been a middle-of-the-order presence against left-handed pitching," Francona told reporters. "Does that grow into more? Who knows, but what he does for us is really important."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 29, 2019

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