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4-run 10th for Nats spoils Blue Jays' 'home opener' in DC

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The Toronto Blue Jays' logo is displayed on the scoreboard during the middle of the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. The Blue Jays are the home team in the game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON – Playing as the “visiting” team in their own stadium against the can't-play-at-home Blue Jays, Dave Martinez's Washington Nationals didn't even get the benefit of a boost from fake “cheering” by nonexistent “spectators” — those were reserved for Toronto's exploits Wednesday night.

So in this odd-as-can-be, upside-down, pandemic-altered season, the Nationals provided their own soundtrack of yells and claps and banging bats in a noisy dugout, reverberating through the empty yard.

Adam Eaton’s bases-loaded chopper broke a scoreless tie in the 10th inning on a close play and Asdrúbal Cabrera followed with a three-run triple, helping the Nationals snap a three-game losing streak by beating the Blue Jays 4-0.

“They got really loud,” Martinez said after his team's scoring output in the 10th equaled what the 2019 World Series champions managed to put together in the previous three games combined. “They love to win — and they love to celebrate.”

Toronto batted in the bottom of each inning, wore its white uniforms, played its walk-up music and blared “OK Blue Jays,” the club's traditional seventh-inning stretch staple.

There were elements that made clear where this game was played: the giant curly “W” painted behind home plate; the heart with the letters “DC” cut into the outfield grass; the Nationals in their usual dugout.

Toronto's Nate Pearson, in his big league debut, and Washington's Max Scherzer, in his 358th start in the majors, put up plenty of zeros. So did the relievers that followed.

“It was cool to see him competing out there. It’s definitely something I’ll look back on my debut and say: I was able to match up with Max Scherzer and held my own for five innings,” Pearson said.