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.

“Talk a lot about it, but just trying to keep us in games and the consistency is part of that,” Irvin said. “If I can keep us in it every fifth day, putting us in line for wins, that's my job and been pleased with the results.”

Irvin has gone six innings in six of his last seven starts.

“He was tough,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We couldn't get anything going off of him.”

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. It was his first triple since Aug. 14, and his seventh overall in 515 career games.

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.

“Awesome,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “He actually got a good secondary lead and broke right away. It was a big play for us.”

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.

“Felt like he had to grind through that outing,” Cash said. "Probably didn't have his best stuff."


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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