Reporting Byron Kerr
I wonder if Nyjer Morgan enjoyed his return visit to the “non-baseball” town of Washington, D.C.?
The team that plays in D.C., the Washington Nationals of the National League, completed the sweep of Morgan’s Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 and 5-1 before 23,047 on Sunday at Nationals Park.
Morgan pinch hit once in Sunday’s doubleheader and grounded out to short. Morgan had told a Milwaukee radio station last week that he was glad to be in Milwaukee because it was a “baseball city”, in comparison with his former home at 1500 S. Capitol Street.
His former teammate, second baseman Danny Espinosa was the offensive hero, smacking a three-run homer and a three-run triple in guiding the Nationals to their third consecutive victory, a series sweep of Milwaukee. Washington is 8-7, one game above .500 for the first time since May 28, 2010, when they were 25-24. The three wins over the Brewers mark only the second time in five seasons the Nationals will get at least a split of the season series with Milwaukee. With one more win
Espinosa said he was just looking for a good at-bat during his three-run game-breaking triple in the seventh inning that broke a 1-1 deadlock.
“I knew I just had to get a good pitch to hit,” Espinosa said. “When I try to do too much is when I am not successful with runners in scoring position. Right there with the bases loaded, I just needed to put something in play hard. I am not really trying to hit the ball one way or another. I was just trying to make solid contact right there.”
It was refreshing for the Nationals to see the offense explode for 13 runs in the two games Sunday. Finally, the starting pitching had a counterpart that was equal to the task.
Jason Marquis went seven strong innings in the opener, scattering nine hits, walking one, striking out four and allowing just two runs.
Not to be outdone, Livan Hernandez took the nightcap (or late afternoon-cap) with seven innings and only one run on six hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
The series sweep was the earliest ever at Nationals Park by the home team. The earliest previous sweep at home was April 17, 2005.
Washington starters have now posted seven consecutive quality starts. The last time they had eight or more quality starts as a unit was late April 2010.
The Nationals now have a day off before flying to St. Louis to begin a series with the Cardinals Tuesday night right here on The Fan.