Werth's bat shining in balanced Nationals lineup

First a home run by Jayson Werth. Then, another huge RBI base hit in the next at-bat.

Three big RBIs that helped to decide an 8-7 win over the White Sox.

The veteran right-fielder believes a move to the second spot in lineup allows him a bit more freedom to take some calculated chances at the plate.

"I think I have been more aggressive this year," Werth said. "But usually I am aggressive when I feel good at the plate. When I am not as aggressive, I don't feel as good. It just depends."

Shortstop Ian Desmond can see when Werth feels good at the dish. He saw this happening in Viera, Fla., last month during spring training. He remembered it almost like being a nightmare when he had to face Werth in the past.

"He wasn't hitting a lot of balls out of the ballpark in spring training, but the contact, the noise that it is making off the barrel is like I remember playing against him," Desmond said. "We heard that plenty when he was a Phillie."

Werth said one big reason he sees the pitches he does is because there is no easy way around the Nationals lineup, from top to bottom.

"We got a really balanced lineup," Werth said. "It is something that we have that most teams don't. It is tough on matchups and it is tough on pitchers. It is a chance to do things that other teams can't. The combination of the lineup, the offense, the pitching and the defense, we are tough."

First baseman Adam LaRoche broke out of an early 0-for-15 slump, by crushing a pair of homers in his final two at-bats of the game. He said the lefty-righty-lefty combination manager Davey Johnson employs with the lineup, from Denard Span to Wilson Ramos, makes choices difficult for opposing teams. And it happened to White Sox manager Robin Ventura on Tuesday.

"I like this (lineup) because it makes it tough on the other manager," LaRoche said. "He really has to pick his spots when he brings guys in or he has got to burn up his bullpen like (Tuesday), with five or six guys when we go left-right."

It is an unenviable scenario that Ventura and so many other managers this season will have to contend with.

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