WASHINGTON (AP)—Suspended Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta served up a tiebreaking, two-run double to Danny Espinosa in the sixth inning Thursday night, sending the Washington Nationals over the Rays 5-2.
Earlier in the day, Peralta learned that he had been penalized by Major League Baseball for eight games after being caught with pine tar in his glove Tuesday night. Peralta is appealing the decision and can keep playing until a final decision is reached.
In the meantime, he entered a game that was tied at 2 in the sixth. Peralta (0-3) got the first two outs of the inning before Jesus Flores doubled, pinch hitter Adam LaRoche was walked intentionally and Espinosa doubled.
Gio Gonzalez (9-3) pitched six innings on a steamy night when the gametime temperature was 97 degrees. He allowed two runs and seven hits, walking two and striking out four.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the seventh on three walks issued by Craig Stammen and Michael Gonzalez. Ryan Mattheus struck out pinch-hitter Will Rhymes to end the inning.
Sean Burnett worked the eighth and Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Roger Bernadina’s RBI double in the seventh increased Washington’s lead to 5-2.
Tampa Bay scored in the second when Hideki Matsui walked and Jose Lobaton, Drew Sutton and Desmond Jennings singled.
The Nationals scored twice in the third off Matt Moore. Espinosa and Bryce Harper led off with walks, then pulled off a double steal. Michael Morse had a sacrifice fly and Ian Desmond had an RBI single.
The Rays made it 2-all in the sixth on Ben Zobrist’s leadoff double and a one-out single by Sean Rodriguez.
Moore worked five innings. He allowed two runs and three hits, walking four and striking out six.
NOTES: Rays OF Matt Joyce missed his second straight game with a stiff back. ... Tampa Bay INF Jeff Keppinger (broken toe) will rejoin the team in Philadelphia on Friday. He’s been on the disabled list since May 21. ... Nationals LHP Ross Detwiler will return to the starting rotation on Sunday against Baltimore. Detwiler and Chien-Ming Wang swapped roles. Wang will go to the bullpen. Detwiler had been starting earlier this season and said he should have sufficient endurance to start. ... Washington RHP Drew Storen said he’ll throw live batting practice on Friday for the first time since elbow surgery in April. ... The Nationals have scheduled RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-5, 2.92) to face the Orioles’ RHP Jason Hammel (7-2, 2.87) on Friday night. ... The Rays play in Philadelphia on Friday. RHP James Shields (7-4, 3.72) faces LHP Cliff Lee (0-3, 3.48).