October 21, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 54 Review: Nats Find Their Swing in 10-2 Rout of Texas Rangers

Powered by four homers at Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon, the Washington Nationals continued their recent offensive outburst in a 10-2 rout of the visiting Texas Rangers.

On Friday night, the Nationals put up nine runs on 15 hits, including a towering Ian Desmond homer, to defeat the Rangers in the first game of the three-game set. A team that was once searching for offense certainly seems to have found something if Saturday’s slugfest is any indication.

Anthony Rendon (4-for-5, RBI, HR) got the scoring started early. In the bottom of the first inning, he took Nick Tepesch deep to left field for his sixth home run of the year.

The following inning, Washington buried Texas in a hole that teams can rarely fight out of.

After Danny Espinosa (1-for-4, 3 K) doubled with one out, Jose Lobaton (1-for-4, 2 RBI, HR) then took a full-count pitch to the bleachers in right-centerfield for his second home run. After Denard Span (1-for-4, BB) and Rendon reached with two-outs, Jayson Werth (1-for-3, RBI) then doubled to bring home Span. A throwing error by left fielder Shin-Soo Choo allowed Werth to advance to third, but more importantly brought Rendon across the plate.

By the time the dust had settled, Washington was comfortably in the lead after stringing together five hits to score four runs in the second inning. It was Tepesch’ final inning for Texas as he was replaced by Scott Baker to start the third inning. For the Nationals, Doug Fister (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K) was in complete control on the mound.

Through the first three innings, Fister was perfect. He forced five groundouts, a flyout and picked up three strikeouts without allowing a baserunner. It wasn’t until with one out in the fourth that he gave up a hit when Elvis Andrus doubled. Fister didn’t let that phase him as he sat down Mitch Moreland and Adrian Beltre out to end the inning and strand Andrus. On the day, Texas went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

After Baker pitched a hitless third inning for the Rangers, the Nationals struck again in the fourth. After Fister and Rendon reached on a pair of singles, Adam LaRoche (2-for-3, 3 RBI, HR, BB) continued his hot hitting since his return. He took Baker’s two-out, 2-2 pitch deep to right field for his seventh home run of the year and second since he came off the disabled list on May 25th.

With an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning, Fister then gave up two runs over his final two innings of work. In the fifth, Rougned Odor doubled to score Alex Rios. The following frame, Mitch Moreland singled to score Choo. Fister limited the damage to just those two runs.

Before the game was handed over the Nationals’ bullpen, Scott Hairston (1-for-1, 2 RBI, HR) got in on all the fun. After Rendon singled for his fourth hit of the game, Hairston homered to left for his first of the season, and the Nationals fourth of the day.

Craig Stammen (2 IP, H, 2 K) and Jerry Blevins (1 IP, 2 K) then combined to one-hit the Rangers over the final three innings of play. Blevins struck out Donnie Murphy and Dan Robertson to end the game and secure the 10-2 victory for Washington.

Back at .500 at 27-27, Washington will look to be a winning ball club for the first time since May 22nd while also going for their first series sweep since they went 2-0 against Houston at the end of April. First pitch for Game 3 is at 1:35 PM EST. Washington will send Tanner Roark (3-3, 3.47) to the mound to take on the Rangers’ Yu Darvish (4-2, 2.35).

GAME NOTE: This is the second time this year the Nationals hit four home runs in a single game. On May 12th against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tyler Moore, Ian Desmond, Kevin Frandsen and Danny Espinosa all homered in the team’s 6-5 victory.

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Brian Skinnell is a sports writer born and raised in the Washington, D.C.-metro area. He’s had work published on Yahoo Sports and Rant Sports, and has made several radio show appearances across the country to discuss his works. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+!

About Brian Skinnell

Brian Skinnell is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Nationals and college football. He is a born-and-raised follower of Washington, D.C. sports, “The” Ohio State Buckeyes and auto racing. A graduate of Shepherd University in December of 2014, he has a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a Concentration in Sports Communications. Prior to joining District Sports Page (for his second stint), he spent time with Rant Sports, Yahoo Sports and the Washington Redskins. For his day job, he is an Editor for Team Velocity Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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