An offensive explosion in the first (Nats roll to 9-2 win)

I had a feeling the Nationals might put up a big number today, given the momentum they gained last night and the fact they’re facing Braves starter Jair Jurrjens this afternoon - a guy they have crushed in recent years.

I just didn’t know that big number would come in the first inning.

The Nationals put up a four-spot in the first, with Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run homer to right-center serving as the big blow.

Danny Espinosa also added a two-out RBI double, and Roger Bernadina plated Espinosa with a single to right.

Both of those two guys remain red hot.

All told, the Nats had five hits in the first inning, and have given Ross Detwiler a 4-0 lead to work with. Now go eat some innings, Ross.

Zimmerman continues to rake, and his homer off Jurrjens was his second opposite-field shot of the season. Since that cortisone shot in his shoulder back on June 24, he’s hitting .388 with 10 homers, 27 RBIs and an OPS north of 1.200.

His batting average has jumped from .218 before the cortisone shot to .270 after the home run, and his lowly .590 OPS back on the morning of June 24 now is around .780. Truly remarkable.

Also, here’s an interesting note: According to Ken Rosenthal of, Nats starter Edwin Jackson has decided to change agents, leaving Scott Boras for the Legacy Agency.

Boras represents a host of Nationals players, but in Jackson, he loses a guy just months from free agency.

Jackson reportedly had a multi-year offer on the table from the Pirates this offseason, but opted to sign with the Nats for $11 million over one year.

He’s expected to test the market this upcoming offseason.

Update: The offense keeps coming. And Jurrjens is already out of this ballgame before we’ve even hit the fourth inning.

The Nats tacked on two more runs in the third, with - who else - Zimmerman getting in on the action again. He crushed his second homer of the day off Jurrjens leading off the third, giving him 10 career multi-homer games.

Espinosa added another RBI when he drove in Michael Morse later in the inning, and the Nats now lead 6-0. Jurrjens lasted just 2 1/3 innings, and the Braves will need a bunch of innings from their beleaguered bullpen today.

Update II: Detwiler went seven fantastic innings, allowing just two runs (one earned) and the Nats bashed 18 hits in a 9-2 win.

The victory gives the Nationals a hard-earned series split after dropping the first two games of this four-game set. Over the last three games, Washington’s No. 4, 5 and 6 starters each went seven innings and allowed two or fewer runs.

Zimmerman, Morse, Espinosa and Bernadina combined to go 12-for-18 with five RBIs.

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