Denard Span drops in the order and delivers a win for the Washington Nationals

WP – C. Stammen (5-4) LP – S. Cishek (3-5)

S – R. Soriano (25)

Davey Johnson decided to shake up the order to try to spark the Washington Nationals, and it worked, just not necessarily the way he might have anticipated.  Denard Span was dropped from the leadoff spot for the first time this season due to his OBP of .315 coming into the game.  He proceeded to get the Nationals in the win column hitting from the seven spot.  Span went 3-for-5, and drove in the game winning run in the top of the tenth inning as he doubled to bring home Ian Desmond.

Craig Stammen coming off a tough luck loss from the night before, picked up the win as the Nationals finished this road trip 2-5 going into the All Star break. They enter the break trailing the Atlanta Braves by six games in the National League East.  They will exit the All Star break with an eleven game home stand that will go a long way towards determining if the Nationals can catch the Braves.

Bryce Harper went 1-for-5 with a walk and a run scored from the leadoff spot.  The Nationals continued to struggle to score runners, stranding seventeen runners on base today. Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Laroche, and Jayson Werth stranded eight runners from the 3-4-5 spots in the order.  Davey Johnson might need to shake these three up if they continue to fail to score runners.

Taylor Jordan did a good job in just his fourth start, going six innings, giving up just two runs, but the offense wasn’t able to get him his first win of his major league career.  Span broke open the scoring with a double to drive in Adam Laroche in the second inning.  Derek Dietrich hit his ninth homerun of the season off Jordan in the bottom of the fourth to score two.  That lead would stand until the top of the seventh.

Anthony Rendon doubled to deep right center to score Bryce Harper from first.  This tied the game at 2-2, where it would remain until the top of the tenth.  Span doubled in Desmond, followed by an RBI single from Wilson Ramos. After a pitching change, Chad Tracy doubled to score Ramos, giving Rafael Soriano a three run lead to save the game in the bottom of the tenth. 

The Nationals go into the break 48-47, and improve to 43-10 when they score three or more runs.

Robert Peterson lives in the Washington DC Metro area and has been covering the Nationals since the team moved to the area in 2005

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