Nats storm back from early deficit to beat White Sox 10-5

CHICAGO - Joe Ross' worst start of the season wound up an afterthought tonight, and all it took for that to happen was another double-digit offensive explosion from the Nationals' suddenly explosive lineup.

Behind another big showing from Anthony Rendon and some long-awaited clutch hits from Bryce Harper and Michael A. Taylor, the Nationals dug themselves out of the early hole Ross dug and wound up running away with a 10-5 victory over the White Sox.

The Nats trailed 5-2 after two laborious innings by Ross but then stormed back in impressive fashion, scoring twice in the fourth, twice more in the fifth and then four times in the sixth to take and then expand the lead.

rendon-swings-red-sidebar.jpgRendon was the igniter, driving in the Nationals' first run with an RBI double in the top of the second, then launching a two-run homer in the top of the fourth. The once-struggling third baseman has finally gotten himself on a sustained run at the plate, hitting .341 with four homers and 15 RBIs over his last 25 games.

Harper's two-run double in the fifth gave the Nationals the lead and was a rare rocket off the bat of the slumping league MVP. It was Harper's first double in 17 days. He also drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Taylor, given a chance to start in center field and bat ninth with Jayson Werth serving as designated hitter in this interleague game, made the most of his opportunity with a two-run double in the sixth. With a pair of hits tonight, Taylor raised his batting average over .200.

The Nationals, who also scored 10 runs during Sunday's win at Cincinnati, have now produced double-digit runs in back-to-back games for the first time since April 28-29, 2015 at Atlanta, a series best remembered for a dramatic comeback that included Dan Uggla's three-run homer.

All of the offense tonight was necessary after Ross' shaky start. The young right-hander gave up five runs in his first two innings, issuing three walks in the bottom of the first alone, then hitting another batter in the second. Todd Frazier's two-run homer to center in the second inning gave the White Sox a 5-2 lead, and left Ross' pitch count at 65.

Ross did rebound enough to make it through the fourth before manager Dusty Baker turned to his bullpen. Blake Treinen wound up throwing three scoreless innings, albeit on a whopping 66 pitches, and was credited with the win at the official scorer's discretion.

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