In the Nationals’ four-run fourth inning, they did a lot of little things right, things that they haven’t done much of this season.
They had examples of nice situational hitting, like Wilson Ramos staying on a 1-2 cutter from Wade Davis and lifting a fly ball to right that went as a sacrifice fly to plate Ryan Zimmerman. Driving in runners from third with less than two outs has not been the Nats’ forte this season.
They had some smart, aggressive baserunning, like Bryce Harper tagging up on that sac fly and moving from first base into scoring position with just one out.
They had clutch two-out hitting, like Tyler Moore’s RBI double to left and Chad Tracy’s two-run bloop single in front of Royals left fielder Alex Gordon.
Both of those hits came with runners in scoring position, another area in which the Nationals have struggled for much of this year.
It was a solid inning all around, and the Nats now have a 5-1 lead in the fourth as a result.
Moore’s double came after the Royals intentionally walked Adam LaRoche. That put two on with two out and brought the right-handed-hitting Moore to the plate against the right-hander Davis.
The move made sense from a matchup standpoint, but with it just being the fourth inning, it was a little surprising to see Kansas City putting free runners on base. Regardless, Moore made the Royals pay, and Tracy followed by driving in two more to give the Nats a four-run lead.
Moore is now 10-for-18 since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse last week.
Jordan Zimmermann hasn’t been at his sharpest, allowing seven hits through four, but he’s managed to allow just one run to this point.
Update: After Ian Desmond’s two-run homer in the sixth, the Nationals have now scored 34 runs in their last 37 innings.
Eleven runs in a win over the Cubs on Wednesday. Five runs in a 13-inning win over Chicago on Thursday. Eleven more runs last night in a wild win over the Royals. And seven runs through six innings tonight out in Kansas City.
The bats have come alive lately. It’s just pretty surprising it took this long.
Desmond’s shot to left-center was his 18th of the season and gives him 61 RBIs on the year. This was just Desmond’s third homer since July 1, but he’s now two homers and four steals away from a second straight 20/20 season.
It’s 7-1 Nats in the sixth.