In Washington, it's been a rough few months for Republicans. On the baseball field, it's been a rough few years. For the past seven — as long as President Obama's been in office — the Republicans have lost the annual congressional baseball game to the Democrats.

But on Thursday, the Republicans got off the schneid and won the charity game, which is now in its 55th year, 8-7. Apparently, it was an exciting finish, too.

Here's the game in one sentence from CQ Roll Call's Bridget Bowman (also a must-follow on Twitter for what the Senate's up to), who speaks the language of baseball better than I do:

The Republicans had squandered a five-run lead in the sixth, but kept their cool at the plate and delivered two runs to win the game in their last at-bat in the seventh, ending the Democrats' seven game winning streak.

Because it sounded like a fun game — especially for Republicans — we rounded up some of the highlights on Twitter. Here goes...

They played at Nationals Stadium, just a short drive from the Capitol and with views of the Capitol dome:

Some baseball greats stopped by. Hall of Fame 2016 inductee Ken Griffey Jr. threw out the first pitch.

When the game got started, it was apparent to everyone watching that Democrats were hurting after pulling an all-nighter during their 26-hour House sit-in.

They looked pretty lackluster, Bowman writes, "only manag[ing] a couple of hits and a measly one run" inning after inning. By the fifth, the defending seven-time champions were down 6-1.

There were more than a few jokes made about that:

But then the fortunes started to turn.

A Democratic star was Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), a former college baseball pitcher. That's him trying to steal home in this photo from CQ Roll Call's Bill Clark:

He'd been at the mound most of the game. But in the final inning, it was Rep. Patrick Murphy's (D-Fla.) turn to pitch for Democrats (the guy on the left).

We should pause here and explain Murphy has been in the national spotlight this week — and not always for a good reason. He's running for Florida's Senate seat, but his path to victory just got slightly more difficult with news that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has decided to run for reelection. And a local news station aired a two-part investigation this week asking serious questions about Murphy's résumé.

Anyway, it was up to Murphy to hold Democrats' lead for just one more inning. And the crowd was getting into it.

Bowman with the play-by-play on what happened next:

Rep. Ryan Costello hustled to first for a single and later stole second. [Sen. Jeff] Flake hit a line drive to right to bring in a sliding Costello to tie it up. Costello had cuts on his forearm to prove that he dove hard into home plate. With two outs, [Rep. Tom] Rooney came up and slashed a line drive to right that drove in Flake with the winning run.


After months of dealing with a controversial presidential candidate who threatens to cost some of them their jobs, after suddenly losing their House speaker last fall, after several years of battling high-profile divisions within their own party, and after having Democrats seize the floor from them for 26 hours just a day before the game, at least Republicans have this: