Wilson Ramos circles the bases on Sunday following his home run during the Nats’ five run fourth inning in Washington’s 10-9 victory over the Reds at the Great American Ballpark.
Nationals 10 Reds 9
WP- Solis (1-1) LP- Wright (0-1) SV- Papelbon (15)
HR- Murphy, Was (10), Ramos, Was (8), Bruce, Cin (13)
Former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver used to call closer Don Stanhouse “Full Pack” because Stanhouse’s save attempts generally were not of the clean variety and often caused the nervous Weaver to smoke cigarette after cigarette to get through another close game. Nats’ manager Dusty Baker favors toothpicks over cigarettes, but perhaps yesterday’s nail biting victory caused him to go through more than his normal supply.
Washington closer Jonathan Papelbon faced down a bases loaded, no out situation with the winning run on second base, as the Nats salvaged the final game of their three game series at the Great American Ballpark. Say what you will about Papelbon’s tightrope acts, but no one can deny that the confident reliever has the guts of a burglar.
STARS OF THE GAME
Third Star– Like NFL cornerbacks, relief pitchers must forget their bad moments and move on to the next challenge. On Saturday, Nationals’ reliever Shawn Kelley surrendered the game winning three run homer to Cincinnati’s Adam Duvall that gave the Reds a 6-3 win. On Sunday, Kelley retired all five batters he faced to preserve Washington’s 10-8 lead.
Second Star- With starter Tanner Roark lasting only three innings, Washington needed someone from its bullpen to step up and fill the void. Sammy Solis was just the man for the job, throwing three scoreless innings and striking out a career high six batters to earn his first win of the season. The lefty has 20 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched on the season, and has held opponents to a .94 WHIP.
Star(s) of the Game- After scuffling at the plate for the first two games of the series in the Queen City, the Nats’ bats came alive on Sunday with the heart of the order doing most of the damage. Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos combined for nine hits, seven runs scored and five runs driven in to pace Washington’s 10 run attack. With each member of the trio getting three hits on the game, the Nats picked up their second game of the season where three players each had three or more hits. On May 4th at Kansas City in the Nats’ 13-2 win, Murphy (with four safeties), Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman did the trick.
Valiant in Defeat- Reds’ outfielder Jay Bruce homered for the second consecutive game and for the fifth time in his last 10 contests. His three run homer brought the Reds from 10-5 to within two runs of the lead, and set the stage for the wild and woolly bottom of the ninth innings.
The combined 19 runs scored was the most in a Nats’ game this season. The last time Washington was involved in a game more more combined runs was on August 18th of last season when the Nats topped Colorado 15-6.
Ben Revere had two hits, scored a run and had a RBI on the game, breaking a 23 at bat hitless streak in the process.
June 6th is known as D-Day but for the Nats’, it is B-day! Current Nats Anthony Rendon and Matt Belisle, along with former National Collin Balestar, celebrate birthdays today.