Wilson Ramos continues to make the case for his first-ever All-Star selection with a first pitch solo home run off of lefty John Lamb in the bottom of the second in the series finale between the Nats and the Reds on Sunday.
His 13th homer of the season lifted the Nats to a 1-0 lead.
Right-hander Stephen Strasburg walked two batters in a 25-pitch first frame, but got out of it unscathed and then worked a 1-2-3 second inning.
After three innings, the Nats lead the Reds 1-0.
Update: Lamb walked the bases loaded to begin the fourth. Danny Espinosa crushed a grand slam, his 17th homer of the season, and the Nats lead 5-0 after four innings. Espinosa now holds the team lead in homers and that was his fourth-round tripper of the series.
Update II: Bryce Harper blasted a solo homer to lead off the fifth, his 17th dinger of the season. Ramos later added an RBI double and the Nats lead 7-0. Lamb was removed after allowing his eighth hit, a single to Anthony Rendon with one out.
The pitching change didn’t affect Espinosa, whose RBI single off of Keyvius Sampson makes it 8-0 Nats. Espinosa has three hits and five RBIs in the game and 14 RBIs in this series.
Oh, and Strasburg has not allowed a hit through five innings. But I’m not telling anyone.
Update III: Daniel Murphy stroked a run-scoring single in the sixth and the Nats lead 9-0. In the top of the seventh, Chris Heisey entered the game in left field and Stephen Drew came in at second base for Jayson Werth and Murphy, respectively.
Update IV: Strasburg didn’t give up a hit through 6 2/3 innings. However, his pitch count climbed to 109, so after he allowed his fourth walk and threw a wild pitch in the seventh, manager Dusty Baker had seen enough. Strasburg allowed no hits and no runs over 6 2/3 innings, with four walks and five strikeouts. He fired 70 strikes.
Rendon crushed a solo shot to lead off the eighth and the Nats lead 10-0. It is his eighth homer of the season.
Espinosa cracked another home run. Guess he doesn’t want Harper to be the team leader. Espinosa has two homers and two singles with six RBIs. He has driven in 15 runs in this series.
Update V: Matt Belisle allowed three hits in the eighth, including an RBI single to Jose Peraza and the Nats lead 11-1. Drew smoked his seventh homer in the bottom of the eighth to extend the Nats lead to 12-1. The six longballs are the most by the Nationals in one game this season.
The Nats outscored the Reds 32-16 across the four-game set and turned the tables after being out-hit 14-3 Saturday by out-raking the Reds 15-3 on Sunday.
Strasburg is 11-0 with a 2.71 ERA.
Final: Nats 12, Reds 1.