Anthony Rendon blasted four hits, seven hits in his last two days against Ranger pitching to lead the Nationals to a 10-2 spanking of the Texas Rangers. He also did it with the glove, robbing Adrian Beltre of a hit in the third inning. The loss to the Marlins on Wednesday when the Nationals could not cross the plate after a bases loaded no out situation seems to have awakened the Nationals bats. Or it could just be the Rangers pitching.
Rendon got things started early with a line drive solo homer off Nick Tepesch into the Rangers bullpen in the first inning on a 3-2 count to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Denard Span had opened the inning with a walk, but then got picked off at second. It was the only run Rendon drove in for the day, but he hit singles in his next three at bats, resulting in three more runs crossing the plate.
Jayson Werth had a big hit in the second with a RBI single down the left field line, scoring Denard Span with Rendon just arriving ahead of the ball with the second run after an error by Shin-Soo Choo. The two runs ended a four run inning. Jose Lobaton sent a Tepesch pitch into the right field bleachers for a 2-run homer earlier in the inning.
In the fourth Elvis Andrus lost a Doug Fister pop up in the sun. Rendon singled and Werth hit a hard ground ball to Andrus that should have been a double play to end the inning, but Andrus bobbled the ball, getting only one out. Adam LaRoche made the Rangers pay for the misplays, sending a second ball into the right field bleachers for a three run homer off reliever Scott Baker. Even though the three runs were earned Baker should have been out of the inning without giving up a run.
Doug Fister had a good outing. He worked six innings, but with a big lead Matt Williams pulled him early. He retired the first ten hitters he faced, but struggled a bit after that. A leadoff walk to Alex Rios in the fifth and a bloop double by Roughned Odor on a ball that just nicked off the glove of Danny Espinosa scored the first run. Earlier Denard Span made a nice catch of a Robinson Chirinos fly ball, crashing into the scoreboard in right field to rob him of a double.
Fister gave up his second run in the sixth after a double by Shin-Soo Choo to start the inning. Mitch Moreland drove one into the right field scoreboard to drive in Choo, but Jayson Werth held him to a single by getting to the ball quickly. This proved crucial when Adrian Beltre grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Scott Hairston pinch hit for Jayson Werth in the bottom of the sixth and extended the lead to 10-2 with a 2-run homer.
Game Notes: The blow out gave the Nationals an opportunity to rest Werth and Desmond late in the game, with Espinosa going to short and Nate McLouth moving to right while Scott Hairston played left…Nate McLouth has been one of the Nationals hottest hitter, but in this 12 hit game he went 0 for 4…The Scott Hairston homerun was his first of the season and 13th pinch hit homerun of his career. That is the most of all active players. He is also hitting .450 in limited at bats. Matt Williams puts him in the lineup to face lefthanders, but with both Harper and LaRoche out the Nationals were not seeing a lot of lefties. With LaRoche back the Nationals could see a few more lefties…The Rangers used pitcher Nick Martinez to pinch hit for Nick Tepesch in the third inning, Ron Washington saving his bench…Ryan Zimmerman is expected to join the Nationals next week. He is playing two rehab games with Potomac.