If only Anthony Rendon’s Houston homecoming could have lasted a few more days. Closing out a short two game series with the Astros, Rendon and the Nationals scored early and often, winning easily 7-0.
While the offense as a whole hit the ball well in support of starter Jordan Zimmermann (2-1), Rendon’s bat proved the most dangerous. On the night, Rendon finished 4-for-5 with a single, two doubles, a home run, and three RBIs. The RBIs bring Rendon’s total for the month of April to 20, which is a new Nats team record. Also on the night, Zimmerman became the Nationals all-time team leader in wins with 45.
Denard Span started things off for the Nats in the third, leading off with a triple and then scoring when right fielder George Springer failed to pick up the ball cleanly. The Nats then added four more runs in the fourth, and solo home runs in the fifth and sixth by Danny Espinosa and Rendon made the score 7-0.
Those runs proved to be more than enough for Zimmerman who scattered seven hits over 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one. The outing was Zimmerman’s fourth quality start in a row, and fifth out of six starts on the season. After allowing no runs on the night, he lowered his ERA from 4.05 to 3.27.
Left-handed starter Brett Oberholtzer (0-5) had few answers against a Nationals offense that came into the game third in the NL in batting average and slugging and second in OPS and runs scored. Oberholtzer surrendered 11 hits and two walks on the night, with six earned runs despite the early Astros fielding gaffes.
On the night, the Nats offense collected 13 hits total. Rendon led the way with four hits, but Span, Espinosa, and Kevin Frandsen each recorded two hits. Frandsen played left field for an injured Bryce Harper. Right fielder Jayson Werth singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
The Nats have now won six straight against the Astros and five of their last seven games overall, outscoring their opponents 36-16. In that time, they’ve thrown two shutouts and allowed three or fewer runs five times.
After an off day on Thursday, the Nats head to Philadelphia for a three game series before returning home to play the Los Angeles Dodgers.