Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Continue To Find New Ways To Lose

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Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Nats Offense Has Big Inning Against Gonzales

Before last night’s game, the Nationals caught a break based on who they would be facing when the Cardinals announced that Marco Gonzales would start the game on Tuesday instead of Carlos Martinez, who was scratched because of a back injury.

Gonzales, who was making his first start of the season, shut down the Nationals through the first two innings. But, the Nats found a way to put up a crooked inning in the third. It all started when Joe Ross and Jayson Werth had back-to-back singles. Then, Anthony Rendon got behind 0-2, but worked together a seven pitch at-bat that ended with a two-run double to right field.

After a Harper sacrifice fly made the score 3-0, Ryan Zimmerman continued his recent hot stretch with a solo home run to center for his 14th home run of the season. Zimmerman, who is currently on a six game hit streak is 9-for-25 at the plate in his last six with five runs scored, three home runs, and nine RBI’s.

In fact, since the All-Star Break, Zimmerman’s 29 RBI’s are tied with Andrew McCutchen for ninth in the National League and he’s done it in eight fewer games than McCutchen.

While the Nats eventually chased Gonzalez from the game in the third inning, they were not able to tack on many more runs against the Cardinals’ bullpen. Carlos Villanueva came into the game for Gonzales and gave up over one hit over the next three innings while striking out six batters. The only run the Nats would score against the Cards’ bullpen came in the seventh inning on a RBI groundout by Yunel Escobar against Seth Maness. Normally, four runs would be good enough, but tonight Joe Ross ran into problems with his control, which allowed St. Louis to get right back in the game.

Next: Ross Starting To Feel Fatigued?