What a day for Rick Ankiel.
Oh, and the Nationals’ pitching staff fared pretty nicely, as well.
Ankiel had a home run, single and double, and scored both of the Nats’ runs tonight in a 2-0 win over the Marlins.
The veteran center fielder went 3-for-3, while the rest of the Nationals’ hitters combined to go 1-for-25.
Ankiel’s solo homer gave the Nats a 1-0 lead in the third inning, and his double in the bottom of the eighth helped provide a huge insurance run. On the double, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton’s throw to second beat Ankiel to the bag, but the Nats’ center fielder deftly avoided the tag, giving Washington a runner in scoring position with just one out.
Three batters later, Ian Desmond delivered an RBI infield single, scoring Ankiel to boost the Nats’ lead to two.
Starter Ross Detwiler went six strong innings, allowing no runs on three hits, and Craig Stammen, Tyler Clippard and Henry Rodriguez each threw a scoreless frame in relief to close out the win and complete the shutout.
The Nationals improve to 11-4 on the season, and if they can secure a victory in either of the final two games remaining in this series, will have won each of the five series they’ve played this season.