Nats launch eight home runs in 15-2 drubbing of Brewers

When it was over, when this two-inning explosion of offensive might was complete and the crowd of 32,118 had a moment to catch its breath and consider what exactly it had just witnessed, all that was left to do was tally up the numbers and marvel at how ludicrous it all was.

In the third and fourth innings this afternoon, the Nationals sent 21 batters to the plate. They wound up with 13 runs, 13 hits, seven homers, three doubles, three singles, three walks, one stolen base. And a pigeon in the vicinity.

Harper-HR-Swing-White-Sidebar.jpgAnd that doesn't even detail the most impressive feat the Nationals accomplished on their way to a 15-2 drubbing of the Brewers on a muggy afternoon on South Capitol Street. For that, let's confine the discussion to a six-batter stretch in the bottom of the third. The first four of those batters (Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman) all homered. The fifth (Daniel Murphy) flied out to shallow center field, eliciting a sarcastic round of boos from the crowd. The sixth (Anthony Rendon) then homered.

Yes, the Nationals hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs, tying a major league record. And they hit five homers in an inning, tying a major league record.

Zimmerman's two blasts gave him 237 for his career, tying Frank Howard's all-time Washington baseball record.

Just about the only record the Nationals didn't tie today was the record for total home runs hit in a National League game: nine, by the Reds on Sept. 4, 1999 against the Phillies. They missed by one, settling for a club record eight homers.

And to think, this is a lineup that was held scoreless through the first 15 innings of this series, then proceeded to score 23 runs over the next six innings.

The most astounding stretch during it all came in the bottom of the third. After Max Scherzer drew a leadoff walk, Goodwin went deep to right. Difo followed with a solo shot to a similar location over the fence. Harper, who homered in the bottom of the first as well, followed with another solo shot to center field. And before club officials could look up the last time the team hit back-to-back-to-back homers, Zimmerman made the research moot by launching Michael Blazek's next pitch to left-center.

This was only the eighth time in major league history a team had hit four consecutive home runs, the first since Sept. 11, 2010 when the Diamondbacks did it against - wait for it - the Brewers.

After Murphy lofted a lazy fly ball to center for the inning's first out, Rendon stepped up and picked up where Zimmerman left off, driving a solo homer to deep left field. Thus did the Nationals become only the sixth team in major league history to hit five homers in one inning, the first since 2006 when - wait for it - the Brewers did it against the Reds.

And if all that wasn't enough, the Nationals scored six more runs in the bottom of the fourth, getting home runs from Zimmerman and Jose Lobaton. Thus the only members of the starting lineup who didn't homer in this game were Murphy, Adam Lind and Scherzer.

Scherzer still managed to reach base three times in addition to tossing six innings of one-run ball to improve to 12-5 on the season.

Nearly the entire game took place with a pigeon stationed behind the plate, just beyond the dirt cutout and in front of the curly W logo. When a wild pitch briefly forced the bird to scurry into the field of play, the crowd booed. No worries; the rally pigeon returned to its original perch an inning later.

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