Espinosa strikes again, Nationals lead Orioles 6-3

BALTIMORE - Entering Friday’s game, Danny Espinosa was in a 2-for-22 slump that dropped him to eighth in the Nationals’ lineup, and the Nationals hadn’t scored a run in their last two games.

That’s a good time to face the Orioles’ pitching staff.

Espinosa has completed the two toughest legs of the cycle in his first two at-bats, homering in the second inning and tripling in the fourth, and the Nationals’ offense has broken out for six runs in the first four innings against a Baltimore team that had allowed 25 runs in its past three games. The Nationals have regained the lead after Jason Marquis gave up three in the third inning, and are ahead of the Orioles 6-3 in the fourth.

Marquis hasn’t been terribly sharp - he’s allowed six hits in the first three innings and just gave up a hit and a walk to start the fourth - but the Nationals have already knocked Jake Arrieta out of the game, and will have another five innings with the Orioles’ suspect bullpen. If they want to get their offense on a roll, they’ve got the chance.