The Washington Nationals' success against the AL East continued on Monday night as the Nats captured their fourth straight win -- a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Washington was on the good end of a bit of injury misfortune when Jays' starter Brandon Morrow left with an oblique injury after throwing just nine pitches in the first inning. The offense jumped on reliever Chad Beck to plate two runs in the first. Adam LaRoche extended the lead to 4-1 in the third with a blast to right, his 11th of the season. A late Rick Ankiel bomb to center capped the Washington scoring at six, but it was the early rally after Morrow left that sowed this one up.
Edwin Jackson took full advantage of the early cushion. He gave up a homer to Colby Rasmus in the bottom of the first but then put it in cruise control and pitched into the ninth. The Jays could muster only three hits off Jackson, one of them a double by Edwin Encarnacion to lead off the ninth. That forced Davey Johnson to go to his bullpen, making the call for Sean Burnett. The hard-throwing lefty gave up a two-run shot to Yan Gomes and Jackson was credited with the second run. But it was yet another impressive performance, saving the Nats' pen as the Jays were forced to use five relievers in the first game of the series.
The Nationals will try to make if five in a row on Tuesday with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound. Henderson Alvarez will go for Toronto.
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