Postgame analysis of the Nats' 7-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
How it happened: After hitting 43 homers in the previous month - the second-most in team history - the Nationals picked up in June right where they left off in May. And Wilson Ramos - he of the fifth-place standing among NL catchers in the first round of All-Star voting - was a driving force.
Maybe this will help his cause.
Ramos went 3-for-4 with four RBI and his seventh homer of the season, a three-run opposite field bomb. His homer was part of a four-run sixth inning for the Nats, a frame that blew the game open and helped secure the Nats a 7-2 victory over the Phillies and their first sweep in exactly a month.
Danny Espinosa hit the other home run, his fourth in seven games. Ryan Zimmerman had two RBI, both times driving in Daniel Murphy. Max Scherzer dominated through eight strong innings and the Nationals won their fourth straight game just in time for a much-deserved day off.
What it means: The Nationals have won four straight games for the first time since May 2 and for the third time this season. Their longest win streak was seven from April 10 through April 16. The Nats are now 5-4 against the Phillies on the season and 5-1 at Citizens Bank Park. Washington remains in first at 33-21 and are now 12 games above .500 for the first time this year.
Ramos can't be contained: As mentioned above, Ramos went 3-for-4 with four RBI and his seventh homer of the season, the first one all year he's launched to opposite field. It was the 13th time in 43 outings this season that Ramos has notched multiple hits and the sixth time he's had three or more. Ramos also had four RBI three games ago on May 29. He's now batting .338, best among all MLB catchers.
Scherzer did what Scherzer does: Scherzer had what has become a very typical line for him this season with eight excellent innings and 11 strikeouts, with the only blemish coming on a home run. It was Scherzer's 39th career double-digit strikeout game and his third of the season. He has 33 since the beginning of 2012, which is second in MLB only to Clayton Kershaw. But, that homer. It was the 16th that Scherzer has allowed this season, most in baseball. Scherzer gave up five hits and two walks on 111 pitches (78 strikes). He is now 6-4 with a 3.87 ERA through 12 starts.
Espinosa homers again: Espinosa homered two at-bats after Ramos to put the Nationals up 6-0 in the sixth. It was Espinosa's second homer in as many nights and his fourth in his last seven games. It was the ninth time Espinosa's hit homers in back-to-back games and the second time this season (May 26-27). Espinosa is now on pace for 21 homers and is tied for sixth among MLB shortstops in the category.
Murphy hit by a pitch: The Nationals already saw Bryce Harper sidelined after getting hit by a pitch and on Wednesday they had another scare with Murphy. Murphy was drilled on the right forearm by a 94 mile per hour fastball during a first inning at-bat and did not hide his displeasure towards Phillies starter Adam Morgan as he took first. Murphy stayed in the game and scored in the next at-bat on a Ryan Zimmerman double. Murphy also tripled in the seventh inning and was brought home again on a Zimmerman sac fly.
Up next: The Nationals take Thursday off before beginning a three-game series at the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night. The opener will pit Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.57) against fellow lefty Brandon Finnegan (1-4, 4.14).