Zimmerman helps Ross with early offense (Nats cruise 18-3)

The Nationals got the offense going against right-hander Homer Bailey, who is making his first start of the season. He had surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow in February.

Zimmerman-Murphy-Congrats-Sidebar.jpgTrea Turner led off the bottom of the first with a single and Brian Goodwin walked. After Bryce Harper struck out swinging, Ryan Zimmerman delivered a two-run double to make it 2-0 Nats.

Daniel Murphy lined out to first base and Anthony Rendon was safe at first on a fielding error by Scooter Gennett. Matt Wieters grounded out to end the inning.

Joe Ross allowed a single to Gennett and a walk to Adam Duvall to begin the game, but not a run.

After one inning, the Nats lead the Reds 2-0.

Update: Nats blew the doors off of this one in the second, sending Bailey to the showers early.

The Nats scored six runs, highlighted by a three-run double from Murphy and RBI singles courtesy of Turner and Wieters. Rendon also had a seeing-eye double down the left field line. Turner and Goodwin now have scored four runs combined in this game and seven runs in the series.

Bailey lasted 1 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts. He tossed 61 pitches, 32 for strikes.

After two innings, the Nats lead 8-0.

Update II: Facing Lisalverto Bonilla in the fourth, the Nats scored four more runs. Wieters delivered a run-scoring single that scored Zimmerman. Rendon scored on the play thanks to a throwing error by right fielder Scott Schebler, giving the Nats a 10-0 lead. With Wieters on third, Taylor crushed a two-run homer well over the center field wall and 1/3 the way up the green berm. Taylor has nine homers on the season.

Nats lead 12-0 after four innings.

Update III: Batting practice-like fifth inning for the Nats. After easy singles for Turner, Harper and Zimmerman to load the bases, Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Turner to make it 13-0 Nats. Turner's 4-for-4 matches his career-high in hits.

The Nats have scored 13 runs on 14 hits through five innings and they lead 13-0.

Update IV: Ross lost potential shutout on solo homer by Patrick Kivlehan in the sixth. Taylor answered with a solo homer, his second round tripper of the game. Ryan Raburn replaced Harper and Adam Lind replaced Zimmerman as Dusty Baker starts to clear the bench with a 14-1 lead after sixth in D.C.

Update V: Ross came through with a quality start: tallying seven innings, allowing one run on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 103 pitches, 74 for strikes.

The game went so well for manager Dusty Baker he was able to rest starters like Bryce Harper, Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon and Murphy beginning in the sixth inning. They were replaced by Ryan Raburn, Adam Lind, Stephen Drew and Wilmer Difo.

Through seven frames, the Nats lead 14-1 over the Reds. This is the 13th time this season the Nats have scored 10 or more runs in a game.

Update VI: Reds scored two runs on four hits off of Joe Blanton in the eighth. 14-3 Nats mid-eighth.

Update VII: The Nats retaliated with four runs on four hits off of reliever Blake Wood in the bottom of the eighth. Turner's RBI single made him 5-for-5, a new career-high. Goodwin added a RBI double, while Lind and Jose Lobaton lofted sacrifice flies to right field to plate two more runs. The Nats led 18-3 after eight innings. It's the second most runs they have scored in a game this season: bested only by the 23-5 defeat of the Mets on April 30.

Turner reached base six times, marking the seventh time in Nats history (2005-present) that has happened in a game. The last time was Rendon on April 30.

Jacob Turner tossed a scoreless ninth.

Final score: the Nats 18, the Reds 3.

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