In his second at-bat tonight, Jayson Werth smoked a ball 400 feet to straightaway center. It died at the wall, and White Sox center fielder Alejandro De Aza brought it in for a loud out.
In his third at-bat tonight, Werth took a shorter path to the seats.
He crushed the first pitch he saw from Jake Peavy - a 90 mph two-seam fastball - deep into the left field bleachers. The two-run shot gave the Nationals a 4-2 lead, which they hold after six innings of play.
Werth now has three home runs in seven games this season, and all of them have been crushed.
The 33-year-old hasn’t been cheated this season. And I’m pretty sure his left wrist is just fine.
He’s batting just .250 on the year, but three of his seven hits have been homers. Toss a double in there, and that’s four extra-base knocks on the season.
The Nationals now lead 4-2 after Craig Stammen surrendered a run in the top of the sixth to tie the game.
Instant Update: After starting the season 0-for-15, including two strikeouts in his first two at-bats tonight, Adam LaRoche has finally put a tally in the hit column.
It’s a big one.
Just three batters after Werth’s homer, LaRoche blasted a two-run shot to center, giving the Nats a 6-2 lead.
Typically a slow starter, LaRoche had a giant smile on his face in the Nats dugout after circling the bases. Had to feel good to get the monkey off his back.
Werth, by the way, has now topped the 500-RBI mark for his career. That home run gives him 501 RBIs.
Update II: The ball is flying out of here with such frequency that if I didn’t know any better, I’d say the Nats were still in Cincinnati.
Tyler Clippard served up a three-run homer to Paul Konerko in the seventh, a shot that made it a 6-5 game.
The Nats immediately responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning, however, pushing the lead back up to two. Werth delivered an RBI single to left, plating Steve Lombardozzi to make it 7-5.
Drew Storen now comes out to work the eighth in what’s been a weird, wild ballgame.
Update III: In his first 15 at-bats of the season, LaRoche was 0-for-15 with five strikeouts.
In his last two at-bats, LaRoche is 2-for-2 with two home runs.
His second of the game, a solo shot in the eighth, has given the Nats an 8-5 lead going to the ninth. It’s LaRoche’s 20th multi-homer game of his career, and he joins Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos as the three Nats to go yard twice in a game thus far this season.
Update IV: That second LaRoche homer was huge, as Rafael Soriano allowed a two-run homer to Alex Rios with two outs in the ninth, bringing the White Sox within a run, before Soriano shut the door.
The Nats closer got Konerko to fly to center to end the game, giving the Nats a wacky 8-7 win.
Back with more in a bit.