Washington Nationals Offense Spoils Shields’ White Sox Debut

Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Nationals blew out the Chicago White Sox 11-4 and spoiled James Shields’ White Sox debut

Tonight, the Washington Nationals offense started off fast against James Shields in his Chicago White Sox debut. They scored four runs in the first inning against Shields, who only went two innings. Those four runs would be plenty for Max Scherzer as the Nats defeated the White Sox 11-4 to pick up their third straight win.

The scoring in the first inning started when Daniel Murphy hit a single to drive in Jayson Werth. After a Wilson Ramos RBI groundout scored Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer to left center to give the Washington Nationals a 4-0 lead. It was Zimmerman’s ninth home run of the season.

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One inning later, the Nats used the home run ball to put up two more runs. Stephen Drew led off the inning with a solo home run, his fourth of the season. Then, Danny Espinosa followed that up with a solo home run of his own. Espinosa’s ninth home run of the year extended the lead to 6-0.

Shields’ night would end after Anthony Rendon singled to lead off the third. The right-hander went two innings, gave up seven runs on eight hits, struck out two, and walked two on 84 pitches in the loss. That seventh run would come on a RBI single by Ben Revere.

As for Scherzer, he shut out the White Sox for seven innings. He gave up five hits, struck out six, and walked one on 97 pitches (68 strikes) in the win. The White Sox best chance to score runs against him came in the fifth. With two on base and two outs, Avisail Garcia hit a single to right, but Harper threw out Jimmy Rollins at the plate to end the inning.

In the eighth inning, the Nats tacked on three more runs when Werth hit a three-run homer to left off White Sox closer David Robertson. Werth’s tenth home run of the year gave the Nats a 10-0 lead.

All nine Washington Nationals recorded at least one hit in the win. The top of the order (Revere, Werth, Harper) each had three hits and went a combined 9-for-17 with four runs scored and five RBI’s. The Nats made some history tonight as well as they scored 10+ runs for the third consecutive game (31 runs total).

Werth tacked on one more run for the Nats in the ninth when he hit a RBI groundout against J.B. Shuck (position player brought in to pitch), which drove in Espinosa. That capped a night where Werth went 3-for-5 with four RBI’s.

After Felipe Rivero threw a scoreless eighth inning, Shawn Kelley allowed the White Sox to score their first run of the game when Melky Cabrera hit a RBI double to right field that scored Jose Abreu in the bottom of the ninth. Kelley would walk one more batter before Oliver Perez came in and hit a batter, gave up a two-run single to Garcia, and a RBI single by Adam Eaton to cut the lead to 11-4.

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Next Game: The Washington Nationals (36-23) will go for the sweep tomorrow night against the Chicago White Sox (29-30) at U.S. Cellular Field. You can watch the game at 8:10 p.m ET on MASN2. Gio Gonzalez (3-4, 3.94 ERA) gets the start for the Nats against Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 3.93) for the White Sox.