For the first time this season the Nationals won a game when
I was recapping them. The Nats came into the game against the Cincinnati Reds under
.500 for the first time since 2011, struggling to find answers as to why they
were having so much trouble. A shake-up in the lineup and a gem by Gio
Gonzalez was just what they needed and the Nationals got some payback winning 8-1.
Gonzalez was masterful, getting out the first eleven batters
he faced. The only Reds hit all day was a home run by Joey Votto. After that,
Gonzalez shut the Reds down, allowing only two more base runners, both on
walks, for the rest of his sterling eight innings. Gonzalez finished the game
on 112 pitches, striking out seven.
With the Nationals struggling mightily to score runs in
their last two series against the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, Davey
Johnson decided it was time for a change. Jayson Werth moved down the lineup
to bat clean-up, while Steve Lombardozzi got the start at third, batting
The moved paid off in a big way, with the 3-7 hitters going
7-19 with four extra base hits and five RBIs.
Danny Espinosa busted out of his slump in a big way driving in
the game’s first run by knocking in Ian Desmond with a double. He continued his
tear in the third inning with a two-run home run, his second on the year.
That home run capped off a four run inning that extended the
Nationals lead to 6-0. Bryce Harper started it off with a solo home run, his
eighth. In between, Ian Desmond picked up an RBI on a groundout, scoring Jayson
Opposing starter Bronson Arroyo left the game after the
sixth inning after giving up six runs, five earned, on nine hits, two
strikeouts and a walk. Arroyo, who has stumped the Nationals in the past,
failed to deceive any of the Nationals hitters.
The Nats tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning. After
Roger “the Shark” Bernadina got his first hit of the season, Denard Span drove
him and Kurt Suzuki in on his first triple of the year.
Rafael Soriano made his first appearance since last
Saturday, ending the game with little drama.
The Nationals look to continue their winning ways tomorrow
with Jordan Zimmermann matching up against Homer Bailey.