The Washington Nationals shocked the Philadelphia Phillies and their visiting fans at Nationals Park into silence after putting up a big number on feared Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee. An offensive explosion has left Lee reeling and the Nationals on top early in Tuesday night's game 5-0.
The crooked number was posted in the third-inning. After a RBI sacrifice fly by former Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth, first baseman Michael Morse added to the damage by hitting an RBI single to score Roger Bernadina. With Morse and shortstop Ian Desmond on base, that set up second baseman Danny Espinosa who then cracked a three-run homer off Lee to put the Nationals in the lead. Nationals starter Jason Marquis has held up well so far only giving up four hits, issuing no walks and striking out one.
Espinosa leads the Nationals in home runs in 2011 with nine. His 32 RBIs lead MLB rookies while his nine home runs lead NL rookies and ranks 2nd among MLB rookies in total. Seven of the nine home runs Espinosa has hit have been multi-run taters.
Tuesday's five runs on Lee are the second most runs Lee has given up this season thus far. In his second start of the season, Lee gave up six runs to the Atlanta Braves.
Going into the fifth-inning the Nationals have a solid lead, but there is still plenty of game to go.