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Washington Nationals 10-5 over White Sox: Nats bounce back after Joe Ross struggles

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Joe Ross didn't bring his command with him to Chicago, but he battled through four innings and the Washington Nationals' offense battled back from an early deficit to take the series opener with the White Sox, 10-5 in U.S. Cellular Field.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' righty Joe Ross snapped a streak of four straight losses with a win over the St. Louis Cardinals on May 26th in the nation's capital in which he gave up six hits and one earned run in seven innings.

He followed up on that outing with a solid start against the Philadelphia Phillies on the 31st which saw him give up three hits, a walk and one earned run in seven innings on the road in Citizens Bank Park.

Those starts left the 23-year-old, second-year starter with a 3.51 ERA, a 4.22 FIP and a .265/.320/.417 line in 25 ⅔ IP at home in D.C. and a 1.54 ERA, a 2.90 FIP and a .205/.283/.298 line in 35 IP on the road this season.

Tonight in Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, Ross was facing the White Sox for the first time in his career and he got off to a rough start with back-to-back walks in front of Jose Abreu, who lined an 0-2 slider to left for an RBI single that made it 1-0 Sox three batters into to the game.

A two-out single by Melky Cabrera loaded the bases and the third walk of the inning by Ross forced in a run. 2-0 Sox after a 39-pitch first by the Nationals' starter.

White Sox' starter Mat Latos issued leadoff and one-out walks to Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman, respectively, in the top of the second, and an RBI double by Anthony Rendon and RBI groundout by Danny Espinosa brought the free passes in and tied it up at 2-2.

A hit-by-pitch, single and sac fly in the second put the White Sox back up on top, 3-2, and Todd Frazier's 19th home run of the season, a two-run blast to center, made it 5-2 Chicago.

Wilson Ramos singled with one down in the fourth and scored the easy way when Anthony Rendon lined a 1-2 fastball from Latos to left, hitting one over the outfield fence for his sixth of the season, a two-run blast that made it 5-4 Sox.

Bryce Harper stepped in with two on and one out in the fifth after Mat Latos gave up a walk to Ben Revere and a single to left by Jayson Werth, and hit a 1-1 fastball from White Sox' lefty Dan Jennings to center for a two-run double that put the Nationals ahead, 6-5.

Blake Treinen threw a scoreless, 20-pitch fifth after taking over for Ross, and the Nationals added to their lead in the top of the sixth with Zimmerman singling and Rendon reaching on an error before Michael A. Taylor hit a two-run line drive double to left to give the Nationals a three-run lead, 8-5.

Taylor scored on a sac fly line drive to left by Harper in the sixth, 9-5, and a bases-loaded walk to Wilson Ramos made it 10-5 Nationals.

Former Nats' draft pick Matt Purke tossed a quick, seven-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh against the Nationals.

After Treinen's third scoreless frame, he was up to 66 pitches total, 37 pitches over his previous season-high of 29.

Oliver Perez threw a quick eighth inning as the game approached the four-hour mark, and Yusmeiro Petit mercifully ended it in the bottom of the ninth. Ballgame.

Nationals now 35-23

NATS NOTES:

  • Chicago started the Interleague series against Washington having lost three straight overall, 10 of their last 12 and 18 of their last 24 games, with a 13-12 record at home in U.S. Cellular Field.
  • After starting the season 23-10, the White Sox were 6-18 over their last 24, leaving them 29-28 on the year.
  • Over their last 17 games, the White Sox had a .217/.276/.335 line as a team heading into the series opener with the Nationals.
  • Washington started the three-game set in Chicago 34-23, with the third-best record in the majors, behind only the Chicago Cubs (40-16) and Texas Rangers (35-22).
  • White Sox' third baseman Todd Frazier started the series with 18 home runs total on the year, good for second in the majors.
  • In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Wilson Ramos is 12 for 23 (.522 AVG) with two doubles, three home runs, two walks and eight runs scored... in seven games played since May 29th. Ramos started the series in U.S. Cellular FIeld leading all catchers (with a minimum of 170 PAs) in AVG (.350), OBP (.392) and SLG (.569).
  • Chicago started the series 4-5 against Washington (since 2005) with four straight losses to the Nationals, though the two teams hadn't played since 2013. The Nats hadn't lost to the White Sox since 2011...
  • The White Sox started the series in U.S. Cellular with the second-highest fielding percentage in the majors (.9885), behind only the Nationals (.9893), with errorless outings in 27 of their last 32 games.
  • White Sox' pitchers, as a group, started the series with the American League's lowest ERA as a staff (3.61) and the lowest opponents slugging percentage (.381).

Nationals now 35-23