In five previous outings against Roy Halladay and the Phillies, not only had the Nationals never scored more than two runs, they hadn’t homered off the Philadelphia ace. They’ve hit three homers off him today, and they’ve got a 4-3 lead after six innings.
Danny Espinosa homered in the fifth, hitting a solo shot just over the right-field wall, and Laynce Nix led off the sixth with a first-pitch homer - the Nationals’ second leadoff homer in an inning today. They’ve hit nine homers in their last seven games, though all but two of those homers have been solo shots. Still, for all their offensive problems this year, they’ve managed to hit homers; they came into the day sixth in the National League with 44 homers, and Nix and Espinosa are now tied with Jayson Werth for the team lead at eight.
Livan Hernandez is coming out in the top of the seventh in a double switch, with Sean Burnett coming in to pitch and Ian Desmond replacing Alex Cora at shortstop. Cora will move to third base, replacing Jerry Hairston Jr.
Update: The lead didn’t last long; Jimmy Rollins led off the seventh with a single to center, and after Sean Burnett replaced Hernandez, he walked Placido Polanco and gave up a bouncing single to Chase Utley. That tied the game, and Ryan Howard’s sacrifice fly put the Phillies back ahead, 5-4.