With Bell’s HR, Nationals sweep Blue Jays

WASHINGTON – Josh Bell hit a three-run homer off former teammate Brad Hand as the Washington Nationals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-5 on Wednesday night.

Juan Soto and Carter Kieboom each added two homers to the cause of Washington, which had not scored victories since July 27-29.

The Nationals had lost 12 of 13 games before this two-game interleague series.

Marcus Semien hit two home runs and Teoscar Hernandez homered for the fourth straight game. But Toronto suffered its fifth loss in six games since reaching its best record of the season with 11 games above .500 on Aug. 11.

Hand (5-7), acquired July 29 as part of the dismantling of Washington before the deadline to trade deals, took the mound with a man on board in the seventh inning. Toronto was leading 5-4.

After a walk to Soto, Bell sent the ball over the right-field fence to reach 20 homers for the season. Two batters later, Kieboom hit a solo home run across left field.

Mason Thompson (1-1) got the last two outs of the seventh inning for his first major league win. Kyle Finnegan was credited for his fourth save, with a 1 1/3 inning relief.

For the Blue Jays, the Dominicans Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 5-0, Hernandez 4-2 with a run scored and an RBI. Cuban Lourdes Gurriel Jr. 3-1. Venezuelan Breyvic Valera 3-0. Puerto Rican José Berríos 1-0.

For the Nationals, the Dominicans Víctor Robles 5-1 with one scored, Soto 2-1 with two runs scored and three produced. Venezuelan Alcides Escobar 5-1 with two runs scored. The Cuban Yadiel Hernández 3-0.