Game 60: Nationals 4, Blue Jays 2


In the Nationals second game of the series with the Blue Jays, the Nats continued to get timely hitting and survived a shaky start by Chien-Ming Wang to defeat the Jays 4-2. Washington has now won five in a row. All of the scoring by both teams was via the long ball.

Wang went five innings, giving up a two run homer to Jose Bautista in the fifth inning. Wang had trouble with the top of the Jays order all night. Brett Lawrie went 1-1 with a walk and was hit by a pitch, Colby Rasmus was 1-4, and Jose Bautista was 1-1 with two walks. Wang would have been in serious trouble if he had not been able to get Edwin Encarnacion out each time he faced him, twice with men on base. The rest of the Jays lineup only had one hit off Wang. Wang struck out five and walked five, gave up four hits and two earned runs. Wang threw 95 pitches in his five innings of work.

Ross Detwiler came in to pitch the sixth and got the first two outs in the seventh. Davey Johnson elected to go to Craig Stammen to face Jose Bautista, who immediately doubled. Stammen got Encarnacion to flyout to end the inning. Shawn Burnett pitched a flawless eighth and Tyler Clippard came into the ninth for the save, his ninth of the season.

The Nationals hitters faced Henderson Alvarez, who did not pitch badly, giving up nine hits and four runs in seven innings. Bryce Harper got the scoring started in the third inning, when he hit a home run and put the Nats up 1-0. In the fourth inning, Adam LaRoche doubled. After Michael Morse grounded out and Ian Desmond struck out, Danny Espinosa hit a home run to make the score 3-0. Jhonatan Solano hit his first major league home run in the seventh, adding an important insurance run and putting the Nats ahead 4-2.

The Toronto bullpen kept the Nats from scoring any further runs, but the Nats needed no more to put another curly W in the books.

Champ of the Game: Danny Espinosa had a double and a home run, both from the left side. Danny had a two RBI night, and made several spectacular plays on defense to get critical outs when Wang needed them.

For Toronto, Jose Bautista was two for two with two walks, and had both of Toronto’s RBI’s.

Chump of the Game: Rick Ankiel went 0-4, striking out to strand Espinosa in scoring position to end the second, ground out to end the fourth inning by swinging at the first pitch he saw, ground out in the seventh and ground out to end the ninth with Desmond in scoring position.

For the Blue Jays, it was unquestionably Edwin Encarnacion, who was 0-4, and 0-3 with runners in scoring position.

Unsung Hero: Jhonatan Solano went 2 for 3, including his first major league home run. He caught Brett Lawrie trying to steal second, and handled all five Washington pitchers very nicely.