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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Jake Irvin pitched six effective innings, CJ Abrams hit a home run as the first batter and the Washington Nationals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1 on Saturday, ending a four-game losing streak.

Irvin (6-6) allowed one hit – Brandon Lowe’s home run in the first inning – struck out five players and walked three. The right-hander has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 12 of his last 15 starts.

Derek Law, Hunter Harvey and Kyle Finnegan each got three outs for the Nationals and pitched a two-hitter.

Abrams hit his third home run off the first of the season and also hit an RBI double against Shawn Armstrong during Washington’s six-run seventh inning.

Harold Ramírez, who was released by Tampa Bay on June 13 and signed with Washington two days later, hit a two-run triple in the seventh inning in his first game against his former team.

The Rays fell back under .500 at 41-42. Tampa Bay hasn’t been above .500 since May 21.

Yandy Díaz went 0 for 4, ending a Tampa Bay-record 20-game hitting streak, when he hit a 109-mph liner to first base in the eighth inning.

The Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning thanks to some clever baserunning by Luis García Jr. He ran home after a wild pitch by Aaron Civale (2-6) landed in front of the plate.

Immediately after hitting a catchable foul ball that caught on an overhanging catwalk, Lowe tied the game at 1-1 with his sixth home run. He has been limited to a single pinch-hit at-bat since breaking his pinky toe on June 22.

Civale extended his winless streak to 14. The right-hander allowed four walks and two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Nationals: OF Jesse Winker, who left Friday’s game in the first inning after injuring his knee while tripping and falling hard while catching a ball, started and hit an RBI single in the seventh inning.

The starters on Sunday are Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (1-7, 5.46 ERA) and Rays RHP Taj Bradley (2-4, 3.81 ERA).

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

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