Recap: Washington vs. Tampa Bay

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - On Sept. 28, 2014, Steven Souza Jr.'s diving catch preserved Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.

 

In their first meeting since then, Souza homered off his former teammate.

 

Souza and Curt Casali hit solo home runs in the fifth, and the Tampa Bay Rays received four solid innings from Matt Andriese in a 5-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

 

Zimmermann (5-5) yielded three runs in seven innings with eight strikeouts.

 

After the Nationals crushed the Rays for 16 runs on Tuesday in Florida, their bats went silent on Wednesday.

 

"We'd love to get 23 hits every day and score a whole bunch of runs," said Nationals manager Matt Williams. "Unfortunately, the way baseball is, that doesn't happen."

 

With rain in the forecast, the Rays chose to give reliever Steve Geltz his second spot start of the season. He provided exactly what they needed, retiring all six Nationals he faced with just 19 pitches.

 

Andriese (2-1), Tampa Bay's original scheduled starter, replaced Geltz and continued what he started, setting down five straight Nationals hitters before Bryce Harper's single with two outs in the fifth. He yielded an infield hit and intentional walk in the fifth and finished his outing by retiring four straight Nationals.

 

"Last night, for any team to give up 23 hits, is a bit of a fluke," said Rays manager Kevin Cash. "Our guys take a lot of pride in what they do. They move on and pitch a tremendous ballgame."

 

Souza, who was acquired by the Rays in an offseason trade, received a warm reception from Nationals fans prior to his first at-bat, but they were decidedly less happy after his second trip to the plate. He deposited a hanging breaking ball from Zimmermann over the wall in left field for his 13th home run to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

 

Casali followed Souza just two batters later with a no-doubt blast for his first career home run and a 2-0 Rays advantage.

 

Zimmermann had a chance to get out of a sixth-inning jam with two runners on base, but Ian Desmond booted a tailor-made double-play ball, allowing Evan Longoria to score. The Nats did turn two on a ground ball from Souza one batter later.

 

With the rain intensifying, Kevin Jepsen slipped off the rubber making his first pitch, but he recovered to record a 1-2-3 seventh.

 

The Rays scored two unearned runs in the eighth. Souza laid down a bunt hit, and Blake Treinen threw the ball away trying to get the out at first. That allowed David DeJesus to come around and score, and Harper's wild throw to the plate allowed Souza to come home as well.

 

There was a brief delay due to the rain after 7 1/2 innings, but Washington could not mount anything after the interruption either. Ronald Belisario pitched the final two innings for Tampa Bay.

 

The teams split a pair of games in St. Petersburg on Monday and Tuesday ... Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg allowed two runs -- one earned -- in five innings with six strikeouts in a rehab appearance for Double-A Harrisburg. Strasburg has not pitched for Washington since May 29 due to a trapezius injury ... Belisario was the 26th pitcher the Rays have used this season, setting a team record ... Washington's Doug Fister will duel Tampa Bay's Chris Archer in the final game of this home-and-home series Thursday.

 

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