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Estrada outduels Scherzer with a little help from Travis

Washington Nationals v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Nationals 0 Blue Jays 2

The Jays were in tough this afternoon against one of the best pitchers in baseball, but Marco Estrada was more than equal to the task of opposing him. And for that matter, Devon Travis was more than equal to the task of hitting him.

Estrada was in vintage form while turning in his third straight quality start, throwing 6.2 shutout innings while allowing just 3 hits and a pair of free passes against 4 strikeouts. As usual, when Estrada is pitching well there was a lot of soft contact. The only blemish the first couple innings other than a walk was a bunt single.

In the middle innings there were a couple balls hit hard, but the first was hit right at Yangervis Solarte standings at third. Travis made a great leaping grab on a liner to end the 4th inning. Estrada settled right back in, not allowing anything else until Trea Turner got him for a two out double in the 6th that he stranded.

He came back out for the 7th, but couldn’t quite make it through the inning. Anthony Rendon battled him for a leadoff walk, and while he got the next two batters and went 0-2 to Michael Taylor, he couldn’t finish him off and allowed a single. With runners on the corners, Danny Barnes came in and promptly got a roller to 1st to end the inning. Him and Aaron Loup split the 8th inning, with Loup freezing Bryce Harper for the third out as the tying run. Tyler Clippard worked a clean 9th for the save.

Not unexpectedly, for their part the bats did not do a whole lot against Scherzer, who piled up 10 strikeouts over 6 innings while allowing just 4 hits and a pair of free passes. The latter of those was plunking Luke Maile with out in the 5th, a mistake that Travis promptly took advantage of in blasting an 0-1 slider to left for a two run homer. That was the extent of the offensive production on the afternoon, but it was enough.

Speaking of Travis, he’s looked very good the last couple games. In addition to the home run, he also squared up a line drive single. I didn’t realize it, but coming into today’s game he was hitting .296/.345/.463 (117 wRC+) since his return from Buffalo at the end of May. It’s encouraging to see him getting on track in what’s otherwise been a pretty dismal stretch,

Jays of the Day: Estrada (+0.364 WPA), Travis (+0.231), Barnes (+0.104).

Suckage: None. Smoak had a low number at -0.077 (0/4, 2K)

Tomorrow, the Jays will go for the series sweep with Sam Gaviglio taking on Tanner Roark at 1:05 EDT.