WASHINGTON -- Anthony Rendon had four hits and drove in three runs, Tanner Roark pitched six innings and the Washington Nationals routed the Tampa Bay Rays 11-2 on Wednesday to sweep the two-game series.
Michael A. Taylor had three hits and three RBIs, while Trea Turner and Juan Soto had two hits each for Washington, which has won 11 of its last 15 games.
Roark (3-6, 3.56 ERA) allowed two runs on six hits while enjoying a rare outpouring of support. The Nationals had scored 16 runs in the last seven games he started.
C.J. Cron hit his 13th homer and Brad Miller had three hits for the Rays, who have lost six straight and have scored six runs in their last four.
The Nationals reached starter Jonny Venters (1-1) for five runs in the first inning. A reliever being used to "open" the game -- something the Rays have done eight times in their last 17 games -- Venters was starting his first game in his 245 appearances. He lasted only six batters as Rendon doubled home two runs and scored on Taylor's double.
Roark capped the inning with a two-run single off Ryan Yarbrough.
Venters, who had given up one run in 14 games prior to Wednesday in his comeback season, became the first pitcher in major league history to start a game after three Tommy John surgeries.
Washington pulled away with a four-run sixth off Yarbrough, who allowed five runs, four earned, in 5 1/3 innings.
The Nationals are 5-0 in interleague play, while the Rays are 0-7. The only other team winless or undefeated in interleague play is the Texas Rangers, who have yet to play such a game.
CALL TO ARMS
Tampa Bay fell to 4-4 when using a reliever to open the game. Venters became the major-league leading 12th starting pitcher used by the Rays this season, their most through 60 games in franchise history. The Rays used eight starters all last season.
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