The Washington Nationals (56-60) might not have one official team leader among their ranks, but on Saturday night Jayson Werth demonstrated why he has continued to be the captain of their offense.
The 11-year veteran blasted his 1,000th career hit out of Nationals Park, highlighting an explosive night for the previously anemic Nationals offense, as they stomped the Philadelphia Phillies (52-64) in an 8-5 victory.
Werth led the offense with his 3-for-5, three-RBI effort, as he prolonged his post-DL outbreak. Since coming off the disabled list on June 4, he is hitting .354 with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs.
The Nationals trailed by four runs early in the game, after a dreadful second inning by Taylor Jordan. But Werth’s home run pushed the Nationals ahead in the seventh, and allowed them to complete their biggest comeback of the year.
The Nats sent 10 hitters to the plate in the seventh inning against the Phillies bullpen, drew three walks and notched four hits to score five runs.
Jordan allowed the Phillies to bat around the order themselves in their four-run second inning. He gave up five hits in that inning alone, one of which was a two-run homer to Darin Ruf.
However, Jordan did not let one rough inning define his eighth major-league start. He held the Phillies scoreless for the remainder of his five-inning outing, and gave up only two additional hits.
Fellow rookie Tanner Roark entered the game in relief of Jordan. He needed just six pitches to retire the side in the sixth inning, and six more to do it again in the seventh. His dominant performance earned him his first major-league win, and kept his ERA at zero over four innings since being called up.
In their last two August series, the Nats were averaging three runs per game, and they are averaging 4.19 per game this season, which is third worst in the Majors. In the last two games, they have scored nine and eight, respectively.
Those inflated scores would be difficult to replicate night after night, but if the Nationals can amp up their run production even slightly as much as they have during this series, the remainder of their season will be a lot more fun.