The Washington Nationals continued their hot streak, taking the second game of a two game series against the Detroit Tigers to complete the sweep, winning 5-4.
Things got off to a good start early for the Nationals offense as they scored three runs in the first inning to grab a 3-0 lead.
The inning began with a Denard Span double. One perfectly executed Roger Bernadina bunt single and Bryce Harper fielder’s choice later and the Nationals had their first run. Back to back to back singles by Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond tacked on the final two runs of the inning.
In the second inning Dan Haren had his only hiccup in his first five innings, giving up an RBI single to opposing pitcher Doug Fister to make it a 3-1 game.
The Nationals came right back though to score two more runs in the second. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche singles again scored two runs, plating Span and Bernadina respectively.
Fister was able to get out of the third inning without allowing any more runs, but that was enough for Tigers manager Jim Leyland. Victor Martinez pinch hit for Fister in the fourth, ending his day. Fister finished the game allowing five runs on eight hits, with four strikeouts and a walk. He threw 74 pitches in his three innings of work.
The game’s weirdest moment came in the Tigers’ half of the fifth inning. Austin Jackson led off the inning with a double. Torii Hunter then hit a liner right back to Haren, who caught it and calmly turned to second to double off Jackson. Both Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa ran to cover the bag but neither made an attempt to catch the throw, as it sailed over the bag right between them. The error didn’t sidetrack Haren though, as he came out of the inning unscathed.
Haren did run into trouble in the sixth inning though. With two outs in the inning Omar Infante reached on a bunt single to bring up pinch hitter Matt Tuiasosopo with two men on. Tuiasosopo launched a pitch to left center for his second home run of the season, reducing the Nats lead to 5-4.
Haren calmly struck out Austin Jackson to end the inning and his day. Haren gave up four runs on nine hits, with three strikeouts and a walk. The home run to Tuiasosopo his only real mistake of the game.
Both bullpens were shut down for the rest of the day, as neither team got much going offensively once the starters exited. Ryan Mattheus and Drew Storen held the lead for the Nats, while Rafael Soriano picked up his twelfth save.
With the win the Nationals are 6-1 in the month of May. They also are 6-0 so far in interleague play.
The Nationals look to continue their winning ways as the Chicago Cubs and former National Edwin Jackson come to town for a three game set.