Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Offense Breaks Out To Gain Series Split

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Aug 6, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Clint Robinson (25) rounds the bases after hitting a three run homer Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 8 – 3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After spending several weeks in the offensive doldrums, the Washington Nationals lineup finally produced eight runs in Thursday afternoon’s win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, the game was closer than the final 8-3 score indicated. The Nats were only ahead 4-3 until Clint Robinson hit a three run homer in the bottom of the eighth to put Washington up by five and he provided three crucial insurance runs.

Joe Ross had a terrific pitching performance for Washington, only giving up one run on a home run by Jarrod Saltalamacchia over six innings. Ross never got himself into trouble in this game. There was a base runner here and there, but he managed to stay out of the high stress situations all afternoon.

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When Ross left the game after the sixth inning and turned the game over to the bullpen, the score was 4-1. Ross very nearly got stuck with a no-decision during the top of the seventh when the Nationals’ bullpen did its best to give the lead back to Arizona. Tonight’s bad pitching performance was by Casey Janssen, who allowed the score to get to 4-3 by giving up a two-run double to Ender Inciarte.

Ryan Zimmerman came through with a pinch hit insurance RBI in the bottom of the seventh, which gave the Nationals a two run lead for Drew Storen to work with in the top of the eighth. Zimmerman did not start at first base last night because of a sore foot, but he was available to pinch hit.

Yunel Escobar fouled a ball off his foot, then got hit in the arm by a pitch. He may need a day or two off to recover from the abuse he took at the plate in this game. Do not be surprised to see either Danny Espinosa or Anthony Rendon playing third base while the other plays second base when the Nats begin their series against the Rockies.

Before Jordan Zimmermann takes on Jorge De La Rosa tonight (7:05 PM, MASN), here are my takeaways from yesterday’s 8-3 Nats win:

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