Nats put a hurting on Tanaka with seven early runs (Nats rout Yankees 13-0)


Score: Nationals 13, Yankees 0

Recap: Stephen Strasburg dominated the Yankees' traveling lineup, striking out nine over five scoreless innings and needing only 68 pitches (51 strikes) to do it. It helped that Strasburg's teammates gave him a huge cushion early: They racked up seven runs off Masahiro Tanaka, six of them coming during a third-inning explosion. Stephen Drew and Wilson Ramos each homered during that rally. Anthony Rendon rapped out three hits of his own off the Yankees right-hander, including a pair of doubles. Jonathan Papelbon took over when Strasburg departed and tossed a scoreless sixth inning. The Nats then piled on six more runs in the eighth.

Need to know: Danny Espinosa hasn't been in the lineup since Sunday, but there's nothing wrong with his right hand (which was struck by a Justin Verlander fastball in his last appearance). Manager Dusty Baker said Espinosa doesn't see the ball well at Space Coast Stadium (something Espinosa has mentioned in the past), so he will try to use the shortstop mostly in road games for now. Espinosa will still get at-bats in minor league games on days when the Nationals are in Viera.

On deck: Thursday, vs. Cardinals in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

VIERA, Fla. - A day off apparently did the Nationals lineup good.

After enjoying Tuesday away from the park - the club's lone off-day of the spring - the Nationals got back to work this evening and put a hurting on Masahiro Tanaka and the visiting Yankees.

Wilson Ramos bat white close.pngStephen Drew and Wilson Ramos each homered to right off the New York right-hander, who was touched up for seven runs (six of them coming in the bottom of the third).

Ben Revere, Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth and Chris Heisey all singled during the third-inning rally, which featured a host of quality at-bats, including Bryce Harper's walk and Ryan Zimmerman's RBI fielder's choice.

Rendon enjoyed a particularly fruitful evening at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles against Tanaka, who previously had allowed only two runs in seven innings this spring.

Drew's homer, his first of the spring, ignited the third-inning rally. The veteran infielder lofted a pitch high in the air down the right field line, using a left-to-right wind that helped carry it onto the roof of the batting cage beyond the fence.

Ramos also hit his homer to right, continuing his strong stretch at the plate over the last two weeks. Since returning from a trip to Washington to get LASIK surgery, the catcher has gone 7-for-20 with three homers.

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