High fives for Jayson Werth who hits baseballs a long, long way. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Werth and Roark Lead Nationals Past Giants 6-2

The Nationals scored early, giving starter Tanner Roark (5-4) more than enough runs en route to a 6-2 win against the San Francisco Giants and sole possession of first place in the tightly grouped NL East.

After Matt Cain (1-4) walked the bases loaded in the first, Adam LaRoche singled home Denard Span and Anthony RendonRyan Zimmerman’s RBI groundout plated Jayson Werth, making the score 3-0.

The three runs proved to be all the runs Roark needed, once again putting in six workmanlike innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs while striking out four.  It was Roark’s fifth straight quality start, dating back to May 16th, and the two earned runs were the most he’s allowed since May 26th.

The Giants scored single runs in the fourth and in the seventh but never never truly threatened. Another promising sign for a Nats offense that has done little wrong lately is the reappearance of Werth’s power after he hit his first home run in nearly a month.  On the night, Werth drove in three, giving him six RBIs over his last three and nine so far in June.  He had six RBIs in the entire month of May.  The home run was his sixth.

Werth was the only Nationals batter with multiple hits in the game, but the team did draw eight walks from the Giants pitchers.  Cain surrendered five of them.  He finished his night after five innings, allowing four earned runs off of three hits while striking out four.  The five walks were the most Cain’s allowed since May 26, 2013.

Zimmerman and Ian Desmond were the only Nats regulars to not walk on the night.  Span and Rendon walked twice.

Since his return from injury, LaRoche has recorded at least one hit in all but two of the games and has reached base by hit or walk in each one.  In those 15 games, LaRoche has hit .291/.403/.527 with 3 home runs, 12 RBIs, and 11 runs scored.

All was not sunshine and rainbows for the Nats on Wednesday, however. Starting catcher Wilson Ramos was placed on the 15-day disabled list with strained right hamstring.

Entering this series against the Nats, the Giants hadn’t lost two games in a row since May 16-17, and on Thursday afternoon, the Nats look to perform the rare four-game sweep.  Blake Treinen (0-2) looks for his first Major League win against the resurgent Tim Hudson (6-2).  The Nats have won four straight and 10 of 12.

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Tags: Tanner Roark Washington Nationals

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