Five-hit fourth puts Nats on top (Nats win 11-2)

The Nationals had struck a handful of pitches well off Tyler Cloyd through the first three innings, but had very little to show for it.

That changed in the fourth.

The Nats put together five hits in a six-batter span in the fourth inning, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.

For the second time in two at-bats today, Bryce Harper started an inning with a leadoff double, and he again came around to score, this time on an Ian Desmond double off the left field wall.

Two batters later, Wilson Ramos delivered his second RBI single of the day, bringing in Desmond, and two batters after that, Jordan Zimmermann helped his own cause by slapping a single to right to score Ramos from third.

Jayson Werth added an RBI single of his own in the fifth, making it 5-2 and knocking Cloyd from the game. Cloyd allowed a whopping 10 hits over four-plus innings, and he leaves with his team in a hole.

Denard Span, meanwhile, singled to center in the third, extending his hitting streak to 26 games.

That puts him one shy of the longest hitting streak in the majors this season, set by the Rockies’ Michael Cuddyer.

It also leaves him two games shy of being halfway to Joe DiMaggio’s 56.

Update: Ramos is now 3-for-3 with three RBIs today after smoking a solo homer to center in the sixth, giving the Nats a 6-2 lead.

This might be Ramos’ 23rd straight start this season - most by any big league catcher this season - but he looks just fine to me. The 26-year-old now has five homers and 13 RBIs in his last eight games, and is up to 15 homers on the season.

With this latest homer, he’s set the Nats’ team record for most homers in a season by a catcher (breaking the mark of 14 he put up himself last season), and has done it in just 68 games played.

Despite the multiple hamstring injuries Ramos has suffered, what a strong season it’s been for him overall.

Update II: The runs kept coming in the seventh, and again, Ramos was right in the middle of all the action.

Ramos and Desmond both delivered two-run singles, and Span added an RBI base hit of his own, giving the Nats an 11-2 lead after seven.

Ramos is now 4-for-4 with five RBIs today. Both the four hits and five runs driven in tied career highs for a single game for the Nats’ backstop, and he now has 55 RBIs on the season.

The Nats have 18 hits on the afternoon, tying a season high. Every starter - including Zimmermann - recorded a hit today.

Zimmermann went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. He’s now in line for his NL-best 18th win of the season.

Update III: That’ll do it. The Nats finish off their season series with the Phillies by stomping their division rivals 11-2, moving to nine games above .500 in the process.

The Nats took 11 of their 19 games with the Phillies this season, including seven of the last nine.

They move to five games back of the Reds in the wild card chase for the time being, but Cincinnati currently leads the Brewers at the moment.

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