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Nationals Vs. Angels Final: Nationals Bullpen Collapses In 11-5 Loss

Washington Nationals fans can call it the "Angst In Anaheim." The Nats dropped their second game in a row Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Angels by the score of 11-5 after an implosion by the bullpen. The loss puts Washington 0-2 under new manager Davey Johnson, snaps the Nats streak of five consecutive series wins and the Nats have fallen back to a .500 record. On top of it all, Washington lost one of their power bats for at least a game, but possibly more.

Outfielder Laynce Nix went 4-for-4 with a RBI in Tuesday's game, but left the game due to right Achilles tightness and will not play in he series finale in Anaheim Wednesday night. Nix hit a solo home run in the sixth-inning off Joel Pineiro that helped the Nats get within one run of the Angels. However, the Angels opened the flood gates and overpowered relievers Todd Coffey and Ryan Mattheus in the eighth-inning scoring a combined five runs to put the game out of reach. For seven innings the game was another tight battle for the Nationals before the bullpen implosion.

Not that it gives much comfort.

Nationals starter Jason Marquis gave up four runs on eight hits while walking four and striking out five in five innings of work. Reliever Collin Balester was tagged with the blown save and loss while Coffey gave up three runs and Mattheus gave up two in the eighth. Offensively Ryan Zimmerman collected an RBI while DH Matt Stairs had a great game by his standards going 2-for-4 with a RBI.

The Nationals fall to 40-40 and a .500 record they aren't too happy to be at right now and have fallen into fourth place in the NL East behind the New York Mets.