Reporting Sky Kerstein
The Nationals bullpen fell apart in the eighth, giving up five runs, as the Nationals fall 11-5 to the Angels in Anaheim and putting an end to their five series win streak. The Nationals though did get on the board first when Ryan Zimmerman knocked home Jayson Werth with an RBI single to center in the first to give the Nats an early 1-0 lead that they would hold until the fourth.
In the fourth an Erick Aybar RBI double tied the game up at 1 and the back and forth had just begun. The Angels then would put two more up in the fifth on an Ian Desmond fielding error to take a 3-1 lead heading to the sixth. In the sixth the Nats bats woke up when they put four more on the board. First Laynce Nix, who went four for four on the night, hit a solo shot to center field to make it 3-2 Angels. For Nix that’s his 12th bomb of the year and he raised his average to .286. Later in the inning Matt Stairs hit an RBI single scoring Michael Morse and tying the game at 3. The Nationals then got their break when Mark Trumbo had a fielding error at first on a Roger Bernadina hit scoring Wilson Ramos and Matt Stairs and giving the Nats a 5-3 lead which wouldn’t last long.
In the bottom of the sixth the Angels came back with three of their own. First Erick Aybar led off the inning with a solo shot, then Vernon Wells had a two run bomb to give the Angels a 6-5 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Angles then put five up in the bottom of the eighth to put the game away.
Nationals starting pitcher Jason Marquis went five innings, giving up three earned runs, four total, on eight hits and striking out five while walking four. The Nationals bullpen got really beat up though. First Colin Balester only lasted 1/3rd of an inning while giving up two runs on two hits. Todd Coffey last two full innings giving up three runs on three hits and Ryan Mattheus lasted 2/3rds of an inning giving up two runs on two hits. Balester was credited with the loss and is 1-1 on the season.
The Nationals are 0-2 under Davey Johnson and Jayson Werth continues to struggle going 1 for 5 on the day and dropping his average to .224. The Nats are 40-40 on the season and are now 5.5 games out of the wild card. Jordan Zimmermann (5-6, 2.85 ERA) will try to prevent the Nats from getting swept as he’ll take on Dan Haren (7-5, 3.05 ERA) for the Angels. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm eastern on 106.7 The FAN. The Nationals will have Thursday off as they head back to DC.