After all the drama of their Game 1 loss, the Nationals bounced back to take two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays. Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez did their job to stop the mini losing streak against the AL East. Gonzalez went six innings and allowed just two earned runs to improve to 9-3 on the year. The bullpen continued their impressive work with five pitchers combining for three scoreless innings to hold the lead. Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard, the anchors of the pen so far, were once again dominant. Each pitched an inning of perfect baseball and Clippard picked up his 11th save of the year.
The Nats offense got on the board first with a quick two-run rally in the third inning. Michael Morse brought home Danny Espinosa on a sacrifice fly to centerfield and then Ian Desmond knocked in the speedy Bryce Harper from second with a single back up the middle. Espinosa had a big night for Davey Johnson's club, coming through with a game-winning two-RBI double in the bottom of the sixth. The double was ripped to right and scored Jesus Flores and Adam LaRoche to make it 4-2. That's all the bullpen would need but Roger Bernadina added an insurance run when he doubled home Ryan Zimmerman to close out the scoring at 5-2 in the seventh.
Washington will try to make it three in a row at Camden Yards on Friday night with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound. The Nats lost two of three against the O's in their first series of the year.