Postgame analysis of the Nats' 14-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night at Chase Field.
How it happened: Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos may have finally found some guys who can keep up with them.
The two All-Stars have carried the Nats' lineup for much of this season, and they didn't stop in the Nats' 14-1 blowout win over the Diamondbacks on Monday night. But they had more help that usual this time in game the Nats set a season-high in runs and hits (19).
Yeah, this one was never close. The Nats batted around their order and scored four runs in the first inning alone. They topped that with a five-run eighth inning and had five more spread in between.
Daniel Murphy went 3-for-3 with three runs. Wilson Ramos had three hits and two RBI. Anthony Rendon had two hits and three RBI. Trea Turner had two hits including a two-RBI triple.
Danny Espinosa, Clint Robinson, Wilmer Difo and Chrise Heisey all drove in runs. Jayson Werth extended his streak of reaching base to 34 games. Bryce Harper walked twice and scored three runs.
Even Stephen Strasburg got in on the action with an RBI and three hits, which tied a career-high. Those three hits matched all that Strasburg allowed on the mound. He went six innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts and two walks.
Their bullpen combined for three scoreless frames after that, including the ninth when newly-acquired closer Mark Melancon made his Nationals debut with a perfect frame. Jonathan Papelbon, who he replaced, toss a perfect seventh inning.
Diamondbacks starter Archie Bradley was not as lucky. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings with eight runs on 12 hits allowed.
The Nationals snapped a two-game skid to win the opener of their series at Arizona and scored more runs in one night than they did in all of their previous four games combined.
What it means: The Nats moved to 62-44 on the season. With losses for both the Marlins and Mets, the Nats now lead their NL East counterparts by five and 7 1/2 games, respectively.
Rendon keeps heating up: The emergence of Rendon over the last month has been a massive development for the Nats. After posting a strong month of July (.909 OPS), Rendon kicked off August on a positive note with two hits. He hit a two-run double - the 100th of his career - and a sac fly to total three RBI.
Rendon is looking more and more like the 2014 version of himself by the day by filling up the box score in a variety of ways. He is now 17-for-51 (.333) with four homers, 12 RBI, four doubles, seven runs and three steals in his last 13 games.
Strasburg still rolling: Strasburg (15-1) became the first MLB starter to reach 15 wins this season. That also tied his career-high (2012). It was the 69th win of his career, which puts him just one away from the Nats all-time leader, Jordan Zimmermann who left for Detroit with 70.
Strasburg has allowed just one run in his last 17 innings and has given up one run or less in six of his last seven starts. He holds a 2.63 season ERA.
Murphy returns convincingly: Murphy pinch-hit in the ninth of Sunday's loss to the Giants, but this was his first start after being held out of the lineup for two days with leg tightness. Murphy didn't miss a beat with his 42nd multi-hit game of the season. It was the 10th time he's had three hits or more and the third time he's had both three hits and three runs.
Up next: The Nats continue their series in Arizona with another 9:40 p.m. first pitch. Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.96) and former Nats prospect Robbie Ray (5-10, 4.70) are your starters.
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