Well, it's safe to say Rick Ankiel is on a little bit of a tear.
He entered Tuesday's game hitting .338 since coming off the disabled list on July 1, and he homered twice on Monday night. And his biggest blow came in the fourth inning tonight.
Ankiel hit his first grand slam in nearly four years off Derek Lowe, ripping a fastball to straightaway center to put the Nationals up 6-3. They scored five runs in the fourth, and have added another two in the fifth with a Jonny Gomes triple and Ian Desmond homer. They lead the Braves 8-3, and have put John Lannan in line for a win.
The Nationals aren't going to solve their long-term center field questions with Ankiel, but they might as well ride his bat while he's on a tear. Roger Bernadina had slipped into a long slump, and Ankiel has the bat to hit homers in bunches when he's on a roll.
Their fourth inning was set up when Gomes charged home on a Lannan grounder, sliding across the top of the batters' box, sending David Ross airborne as he tried to field a throw and touching home plate with his right hand. It was an aggressive play, and I'm surprised Gomes didn't get plunked in his next at-bat, but it helped get the inning started.
The Nationals have knocked Lowe out of the game, and they look to be in control of this one.