After a sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees, the Washington Nationals struggles continued on Tuesday night early on in the opening game of their series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang had his shortest outing in a Nats uniform, going just 3.1 innings and giving up seven hits and three walks. Ross Detwiler replaced Wang in the fourth inning with Washington trailing 5-2. Davey Johnson's routinely gone to Detwiler to spell Wang, and tonight was the earliest he had to call on him. The former first round pick struck out the first two batters he faced to end the fourth inning.
The Rays put a four-spot up on the board in the fourth when they chased Wang. Carlos Pena started the damage with a two-run shot to deep centerfield to put Tampa back in front, 3-2. Elliot Johnson then capped the scoring with a triple that scored Ben Zobrist and Jose Lobaton. The homer and triple were exacerbated by the two walks that preceded them, and were Wang's undoing in the big fourth-inning rally.
On offense for the Nats, Ian Desmond ripped his 11th homer of the season to put Washington ahead 2-1 in the second inning. The leadoff homer set a career-high for Desmond with more than half the season remaining.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball. For more on the Rays throughout this interleague series, visit DRaysBay.