Danny Espinosa leads offensive barrage as Washington Nationals rout Reds
By Pablo Roa
Danny Espinosa drove in seven runs as the Washington Nationals crushed the Cincinnati Reds, 13-4, Thursday night at Nationals Park.
Danny Espinosa’s incredible month of June came to a fitting finale Thursday night at Nationals Park, as his offensive fire power led the Washington Nationals to victory in the first game of a four game set against the Reds.
The Nationals scored early and often Thursday night, starting with a four-spot in the bottom of the first inning. Wilson Ramos drove in the Nationals’ first run with a sacrifice fly. Later in the inning, a three-run blast off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman gave the Nationals a 4-1 lead.
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The Nationals put up another four spot two innings later. With the bases loaded and one out, Espinosa uncorked on a 2-2 fastball from Reds pitcher Ryan Finnegan, sending it over the wall in left-center field for a grand slam. It was Espinosa’s 14th homer of the year, and it stretched the Nationals’ lead to 8-1.
Unfortunately for the Reds, the Nationals’ offense wasn’t finished, and Espinosa was just getting started.
Chris Heisey pitched in with a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth, making it a 10-1 game. Later in the inning, with two runners on base, Espinosa hit a three-run homer — his second of the game and 15th of the season — to give the Nationals a 13-1 lead.
Gio Gonzalez got the start for the Nationals and pitched a solid game, striking out nine batters while allowing four runs over six innings of work.
The Reds scored their first run on an RBI groundout by Jay Bruce in the first. Cincinnati then scored three runs in the sixth inning, trimming the Nationals’ lead to 6-4.
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Gonzalez wasn’t stellar by any means, but the Nationals gave him more than enough run support to earn his fourth win of the season.
With the win, the Nationals are now 48-32 and have won five games in a row.
Next Up: The Nationals continue their series against the Reds tomorrow night in the nation’s capital. Tanner Roark gets the start for the Nationals, while Anthony DeSclafani takes the mound for the Reds. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. ET.