Rays Vs. Nationals Recap: Washington Woes Continue, Falling 5-4

The Washington Nationals dropped their fourth straight game on Tuesday night, losing 5-4 in their series opener with the Tampa Bay Rays. Chien-Ming Wang was not sharp again, giving up five runs in his shortest appearance in a Nats uniform. Wang issued three walks and allowed seven hits in just 3.1 innings of work. Ross Detwiler came on and looked very solid, likely forcing the Nats to make a change in the rotation and putting him back in Wang's spot.

The bright spot for Washington came from the bat of Michael Morse, who ripped a two-run homer to right center in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Rays' lead to one. It was his first long ball of the season and will hopefully get the slugger going as the Nationals hit the mid-point of the season. In addition to Morse, Ian Desmond hit his career-high 11th homer of the season.

While the game would stand at 5-4 after the Morse homer, the events of the evening were just picking up. Former Nationals and current Tampa reliever Joel Peralta was ejected for having a foreign substance on his glove. Davey Johnson alluded to pine tar in his postgame press conference, and said it was no secret that Peralta's former ties to the organization provided some intel when he came out of the bullpen for Joe Maddon in the bottom of the eighth.

With tension now established between these two unfamiliar opponents, Stephen Strasburg will take the mound in Game 2 and try to be the streak-stopper.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball. For more on the Rays throughout this interleague series, visit DRaysBay.

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