View Count: 130 |  Publish Date: July 08, 2013
Nationals get the bats going
Daily News Wire ReportsPosted: Monday, July 8, 2013, 12:18 AM
AT LAST, the Washington Nationals lineup is starting to click. In related news, Davey Johnsons squad is closer to first place than it has been in more than 6 weeks.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a grand slam, Bryce Harper added three hits and two stolen bases, and the Nationals yesterday sent the visiting San Diego Padres to their ninth straight loss, 11-7.
Stephen Strasburg (5-6) allowed four runs over six innings. He matched his season-high with nine strikeouts as the Nationals won their fourth straight, the last three over San Diego.
The victory moved the Nationals within four games of NL East-leading Atlanta. That is the smallest deficit for the defending division champions since May 20. More coveragePoll: Do the Phillies still have a chance?Follow the Phillies: Download our FREE Pro Baseball app!Forum: Will the Phillies make the playoffs?Latest Phillies videos Special section: Top 25 Phillies prospects
Weve played below our potential and now were coming around, Johnson said. Thats a good feeling.
Feeling good isnt in the Padres repertoire right now. That was a rough one. No doubt about it, San Diego manager Bud Black said.
Anthony Rendon hit a home run and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who are four games over .500 for the first time since April 12. San Diego lost the final nine times on its 10-game road trip.
In the series finale, San Diego outhit Washington 12-11, but finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Of course, scoring seven runs is often enough to claim victory. During other parts of the skid, the offense only scored seven runs over six games.
Youre finding different ways to lose each time, catcher Nick Hundley said. Some days, we pitched great and didnt hit. Other days, we swung great and didnt pitch. You try to find a nice combination of both and go from there.
Zimmermans slam off Robbie Erlin (1-2) put Washington ahead 5-1 in the third inning.
In his first at-bat, the Nationals third baseman struck out on full- count fastball. In the third inning, Zimmerman batted after Harper reached on an infield single off the glove of first baseman Jesus Guzman to load the bases.
With an approach Johnson described as more aggressive, Zimmerman swung at the first pitch - another fastball - he saw from Erlin and launched it over the rightfield wall. Two batters later, Rendon hit a two-run homer.
In Nationals news, lefthander Ross Detwiler was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 4, with a lower-back strain.
In other NL games *
At Milwaukee, Jeremy Hefner (4-6) allowed one run on two hits over seven innings and the New York Mets turned two throwing errors by Brewers third baseman Juan Francisco into a pair of unearned runs and a 2-1 victory.
*At St. Louis, Lance Lynn (11-3) outpitched Marlins All-Star Jose Fernandez for his 11th win and Matt Holliday homered for the Cardinals in a 3-2 victory that wrapped up a three-game sweep of Miami.
*At Chicago, pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro had a game-ending sacrifice fly in the 11th inning, lifting the Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
*At San Francisco, A.J. Ellis hit a three-run double in the ninth inning, All-Star Clayton Kershaw (8-5) had a third straight stellar start and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the slumping Giants, 4-1.
*At Phoenix, Patrick Corbin (10-1) allowed three hits in eight innings to finally get his 10th victory and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat Colorado, 6-1, for their fifth straight win and a dominant three-game sweep of the Rockies. Colorado starter Roy Oswalt (0-4) exited with a strained left hamstring in the second.
In AL games *
At New York, Adam Jones hit a two-run homer off Mariano Rivera (1-2) in the ninth inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Yankees, 2-1, ending the Yanks longest winning streak of the season at six games.
*At Cleveland, Michael Brantleys two-run homer in the eighth inning off Al Alburquerque (1-2) helped the Indians snap a seven-game skid against Detroit with an 8-6 win, trimming one game off the Tigers lead in the AL Central.
*At Toronto, Todd Redmond (1-1) pitched one-hit ball over five innings for his first major league win and the Blue Jays hit three home runs to beat the slumping Minnesota Twins, 11-5.
*At St. Petersburg, David Price (3-4) went the distance to win his second straight start since returning from an injury as the Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep by beating the Chicago White Sox, 3-1.
*At Kansas City, Josh Reddick homered and drove in four runs to cap a big series for Oakland, Jed Lowrie and Eric Sogard also went deep and the Athletics beat the Royals, 10-4.
*At Arlington, Texas, A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer, Nelson Cruz had a tiebreaking single in the fifth inning and the Rangers beat Houston, 5-4.
*At Anaheim, Mike Trout and Hank Conger homered and Jered Weaver pitched 6 2/3 strong innings as the Los Angeles Angels defeated Boston, 3-0.
In an interleague game *
At Cincinnati, Joe Saunders (7-8) pitched seven efficient innings and Nick Franklin and Justin Smoak each homered to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 3-1 win over the Reds.Daily News Wire Reports #post2 .pw-icon.ra1-pw-icon-reddit {background: url() 0px 0px no-repeat !important;width: 60px !important;height: 20px !important;margin-right:8px;}#post2 .pw-icon.ra1-pw-icon-email {background: url() 0px 0px no-repeat !important;width: 71px !important;height: 28px !important;}0comments

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