Nats can build off of 16 runs; Turner debuts in Double-A Harrisburg

The Nationals can use a game like Tuesday's 16-4 drubbing of the Rays. The 23 hits were the most ever by the Nats and the most since the Expos tallied 26 in a game against the Giants in 1997.

Catcher Wilson Ramos told reporters afterwards he will use the video from his last two at-bats, both homers off position players, to help him because he got his hands so relaxed. Shortstop Ian Desmond went 2-for-4 with a walk and only one strikeout.

harper-back on deck-gray-sidebar.jpgThe Rays also had to use five relievers, although two of them were position players at the end of the shellacking. The teams raced to Dulles Airport early this morning and now play two games in D.C., starting tonight.

Danny Espinosa went 5-for-5, the most hits of his career in a game. Clint Robinson went 4-for-5 with a homer, the most hits in his career. Bryce Harper went 3-for-3 with a homer. Every starter had at least one hit, and of the original nine in the lineup, only Yunel Escobar did not have a multi-hit performance.

For a team that had gone 3-4 on the road trip before Tuesday's laugher, it was a welcome sight. It took, wait for it, FOUR games for Nationals to score 16 runs combined prior to Tuesday's deluge.

Some had criticized the energy level of the Nationals after Monday's 6-1 loss. Maybe the energy and "want-to" they showed Tuesday can carry over to get them going. Finally returning home can't hurt either.

The schedule turns in the Nationals' favor starting tonight. They have already played 37 games on the road, 28 at home. Only the Yankees (27) have played fewer home games. The next closest is the White Sox with 28, and the Braves and A's have had 29 games at home.

The Nationals play 14 of their next 20 games at Nats Park.

Shortstop Trea Turner made his debut in Double-A Harrisburg's 1-0 loss to Richmond. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Left fielder Christopher Bostick also debuted at Harrisburg in a move from high Single-A Potomac, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

The Richmond Flying Squirrels' starter, Joe Biagini (6-3), allowed only two hits in the eight inning shutout. Austin Voth went seven innings, allowing only three hits but no runs for the no-decision.

Wilmer Difo did not play, with Cutter Dykstra playing second base.

Right-hander (left trapezius muscle tightness) Stephen Strasburg starts today for Harrisburg at noon in his first rehab assignment.

Taking a look at tonight's matchup
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