Game #22 Recap: O'Hara Curse Lifted, Nats Win

For the first time this season the Nationals won a game whenI was recapping them. The Nats came into the game against the Cincinnati Reds under .500 for the first time since 2011, struggling to find answers as to why they were having so much trouble. A shake-up in the lineup and a gem by Gio Gonzalez was just what they needed and the Nationals got some payback winning 8-1.

Gonzalez was masterful, getting out the first eleven batters he faced. The only Reds hit all day was a home run by Joey Votto. After that, Gonzalez shut the Reds down, allowing only two more base runners, both on walks, for the rest of his sterling eight innings. Gonzalez finished the game on 112 pitches, striking out seven.

With the Nationals struggling mightily to score runs in their last two series against the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, Davey Johnson decided it was time for a change. Jayson Werth moved down the lineup to bat clean-up, while Steve Lombardozzi got the start at third, batting second.

The moved paid off in a big way, with the 3-7 hitters going 7-19 with four extra base hits and five RBIs.

Danny Espinosa busted out of his slump in a big way driving in the game’s first run by knocking in Ian Desmond with a double. He continued his tear in the third inning with a two-run home run, his second on the year.

That home run capped off a four run inning that extended the Nationals lead to 6-0. Bryce Harper started it off with a solo home run, his eighth. In between, Ian Desmond picked up an RBI on a groundout, scoring Jayson Werth.

Opposing starter Bronson Arroyo left the game after the sixth inning after giving up six runs, five earned, on nine hits, two strikeouts and a walk. Arroyo, who has stumped the Nationals in the past, failed to deceive any of the Nationals hitters.

The Nats tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning. After Roger “the Shark” Bernadina got his first hit of the season, Denard Span drove him and Kurt Suzuki in on his first triple of the year.

Rafael Soriano made his first appearance since last Saturday, ending the game with little drama.

The Nationals look to continue their winning ways tomorrow with Jordan Zimmermann matching up against Homer Bailey.

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