Bullpen bombed in Nats’ 11-4 loss

Led by Yunel Escobar, the Nationals came out swinging the bats aggressively for the second straight night. Escobar drilled Rubby De La Rosa’s first-pitch heater over center fielder A.J. Pollock to start the game with a double. Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper drew consecutive walks to load the bases for Ryan Zimmerman with no outs.

Ryan Zimmerman watches hit white.jpgZimmerman lifted a fly ball to right that was deep enough to score the tagging Escobar for the game’s first run. Rendon was next to score on Jayson Werth’s sacrifice fly to right.

Update: The Diamondbacks turned three singles in the third into a run on sacrifice fly to deep center from Aaron Hill.

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez has allowed one run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts through three innings.

Update II: Nationals manager Matt Williams let Gonzalez start the sixth at 93 pitches. But when Yasmany Tomas singled on Gonzalez’s second offering in the frame, Williams yanked the left-hander in favor of Aaron Barrett.

Chris Owings promptly knocked a base hit to center. Nick Ahmed then dropped a bunt down toward third base. Barrett hustled off the mound to field the slow roller, but his throw was low and wide and skipped past Zimmerman. Tomas and Owings raced around to give the Diamondbacks the lead.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a broken bat pinch-hit single to left, plating Ahmed. After A.J. Pollock recorded the fourth hit against Barrett, Williams went back to the bullpen for Tanner Roark.

The Diamondbacks scored their fourth run of the frame when Roark issued back-to-back walks.

Gonzalez allowed two earned runs on eight hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over five innings. It’s the third consecutive start that Gonzalez has failed to make it through six innings.

Update III: Ender Inciarte tagged left-hander Matt Thornton for a leadoff triple in the eighth. After Thornton walked Paul Goldschmidt, Welington Castillo crushed a 93 mph fastball to deep center for a three-run homer.

Update IV: Felipe Rivero hit Owings to start the ninth. Owings moved to third on singles by Cliff Pennington and Iciarte and then scored on a balk by Rivero. After Pennington scored on an infield single, Williams called on utility man Tyler Moore to finish the ninth.

Moore got Goldschmidt to ground out to third, but the Diamondbacks added their 11th run on the play. After hitting Castillo, Moore was able to get Aaron Hill to line out to end the inning.

Moore became the second position player in Nationals history to pitch in a game, joining Clint Robinson from earlier this season in Arizona.

Michael A. Taylor smoked a two-run homer in the ninth. It was his 10th of the season.

The Diamondbacks beat the Nationals 11-4. With the Mets’ win, the Nationals fall two games back of first place in the NL East.

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