Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Offense Picks Up Jordan Zimmermann In Win Over Orioles

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Jul 11, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) celebrates with designated hitter Clint Robinson (25) and catcher Wilson Ramos (40) after his three run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Washington won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Nats Aggressive Approach Pays Off On Offense

Right out of the gate, the Nats had plenty of chances to score runs against Orioles’ starter, Miguel Gonzalez. It began in the first inning when Clint Robinson hit a ball to right field that looked like it would score Yunel Escobar from second. However, the Orioles made a great relay throw to get him at the plate because Escobar isn’t running as fast due to his hamstring injury.

One inning later, Washington found a way to get on the board, but they did it with small ball. Wilson Ramos led off with a walk, Danny Espinosa reached base on a bunt single, and Tyler Moore singled to left. The Nats had a chance to have a huge inning, but only managed one run. That run would end up scoring on a double play by Ian Desmond.

Once Gonzalez got that double play, he was able to retire the next ten Nationals hitters in a row before going up against Harper in the sixth inning. On the second pitch, Harper took a 90 mile per hour fastball and crushed it on a line drive over the right center field wall to cut the O’s lead to 4-3.

Later in the inning, Robinson and Ramos would reach base on back-to-back singles. With two on and no out, manager Matt Williams would make an interesting call with Espinosa up. Instead of bunting and giving up an out, Williams decided to take a chance as the ball was carrying out of Camden Yards. Espinosa took a changeup from Gonzalez and hit it over the right field wall for a three-run homer to give the Nats the lead.

The Nationals were able to win this game with a combination of timely hitting and the long ball. Every hitter in the starting lineup reached base with eight of them recording a hit (Desmond went 0-for-3 with a walk).

Plus, five of the Nats’ nine RBI’s came from Michael Taylor and Espinosa. Taylor had RBI singles in the second and ninth innings. Give the Nats credit for having a good gameplan against Gonzalez and taking advantage of a pitcher that pitches to contact and doesn’t strike many hitters out.

Next: Zimmermann Struggles, But Gets The Win