Nationals: Offense Steps Up In 7-4 Win Over Indians
By Ricky Keeler
Today, the Washington Nationals offense stepped up for Gio Gonzalez in a 7-4 win over the Cleveland Indians
After scoring eight runs in the first four games of this homestand, the Washington Nationals (67-46) offense got on the board early against Josh Tomlin and the Cleveland Indians (63-48). Even though Gio Gonzalez had his struggles today, the two through five hitters drove in all seven runs in the Nats 7-4 win as they split the two game series with the Indians as well as the four game season series.
In the first inning, Wilson Ramos got the scoring started when he hit a single to center with two outs that drove in Jayson Werth. Werth doubled to right earlier in the inning to extend his on-base streak to 40 games.
Cleveland would get that run back in the top of the second when Abraham Almonte hit a two-out double to right that scored Brandon Guyer and tied the game at one. But, the Washington Nationals offense answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Danny Espinosa and Ben Revere began the inning with back-to-back singles. Three batters later, Werth hit a 2-1 cutter from Tomlin over the wall in left field for a three-run home run. Werth’s 15th of the season and his second in as many days gave the Washington Nationals a 4-1 lead.
Even though Gonzalez was given a three run lead, he was unable to protect it. With Rajai Davis on first and one out in the third, Francisco Lindor hit a two-run home run to left center, his 14th of the season, to cut the lead to one. Then, Mike Napoli and Jose Ramirez had back-to-back doubles, which tied the game at four.
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Two innings later, the offense got the lead back. Trea Turner doubled and Werth walked to start the inning. Then, Daniel Murphy hit a double to right to put the Washington Nationals up 5-4.
After Murphy’s double, Anthony Rendon drove in two runs with his second double of the day, which went down the third base line, against reliever Dan Otero. Those two runs ended up being charged to Tomlin, who gave seven runs over four innings in his fifth loss of the season.
Gonzalez got the lead back, but could not finish the sixth as he allowed the first two runners to reach base. However, Matt Belisle came in and got pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and Almonte to ground out to second to end the inning. As for Gonzalez, he went five innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out five, and walked one on 103 pitches (66 strikes) in the win.
Today, the Washington Nationals bullpen got in a couple of jams, but found their way out of them. In the seventh, Davis and Jason Kipnis singled with two outs against Blake Treinen and Oliver Perez respectively. But, Shawn Kelley got Lindor to fly out to end the seventh and he ended up throwing 1.1 scoreless innings today.
With Bryce Harper out of the lineup for the third straight day, Brian Goodwin got the start in right field and picked up his first Major League hit with a single to right in the bottom of the eighth.
Next: Reaction: Takeaways From 3-1 Loss To Indians
It was another routine ninth inning for Mark Melancon as he retired the Indians in order, including one strikeout, as he picked up his second save as the Washington Nationals closer and his 32nd of the season.
Next Game: After a day off tomorrow, the Washington Nationals will begin a three game series against the Atlanta Braves (43-70) at Nats Park Friday night. You can watch the game on MASN2 and WUSA9 at 7:05 p.m ET. Stephen Strasburg (15-2, 2.80 ERA) gets the start for the Nats against Mike Foltynewicz (5-5, 4.37) for the Braves.