By Michael Marzzacco
Danny Espinosa put on a show on both sides of the plate, with a grand slam on the right side and a three-run homer on the left as the Nationals trounced the Reds in the first game of a four-game weekend series at Nationals Park 13-4.
The Reds got on the board in the top of the first with an RBI groundout by Jay Bruce. The Nats answered in the bottom frame. With two outs, Wilson Ramos hit a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Michael Taylor to tie the game at 1. With Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon on, Ryan Zimmerman laughed a three run shot into the batter’s eye over the centerfield wall.
In the bottom of the third, Danny Espinosa hit a grand slam into the seats in left-centerfield that gave the Nats the commanding 8-1 lead. In the fourth with two outs and Daniel Murphy, Wilson Ramos and Zimmerman on, Chris Heisey belted an RBI single into centerfield that scored Murphy and Ramos. Espinosa followed with his second homer of the night, a three-run bomb into the visitor’s bullpen in left-center that put the Nats out front 13-1.
Gio Gonzalez got the win as he went six innings allowing four runs on six hits, striking out nine. These teams will meet again tonight at 6:05. Tanner Roark (7-5, 2.96 ERA) will take the ball for Washington while Cincinnati will counter with Anthony DeSclafani (2-0, 1.52 ERA).