Riggleman pleased with progress on defense

Danny Espinosa makes a diving stop towards the second base then gets up and throws the runner out, saving potentially two more runs and keeping the Nats in game.

Ryan Zimmerman grabs a hot shot out of the air and throws to first to get the hitter. Adam Dunn quickly fires back across the mound to the shortstop who nabs the runner at third trying to take an extra base for a unique 5-3-6 double play.

These may have been plays that would not have been made when the team was struggling to back-to-back 100 loss seasons. And despite a fourth straight loss, the Nats are losing close games and fighting to the last out.

Manager Jim Riggleman prefers the "W's" just like everyone else, but he sees the progress on defense.

"We hate losing games. I know our fans hate it," says Riggleman.

"But when you play cleaner baseball you feel like you are closer. You feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You feel like a major league ball club when you are making plays and having some lower score games.

"You are making plays. You are not giving away runs. I think a little bit before the all-star break to the current time we have made strides that way."

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