After splitting two in Cleveland and four in San Francisco, the Washington Nationals swept their three-game set with the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks to finish their recently-completed nine-game trip 6-3.
Overall on the season, the three-straight wins over the D-Backs gave the Nationals a 64-44 record and a 7.0 game lead in the NL East.
Sweeping the D-Backs, who’ve now dropped 25 of their previous 32 games after the three losses, left the Nats with a 33-24 record away from the nation’s capital this season.
They outscored Arizona 32-8 in the three-game set, taking advantage of the fact the the Diamondbacks’ bullpen was beat up heading into the series.
“We know that this team is a little down,” Dusty Baker told reporters after the series finale.
“It happens to all of us sometimes and so you’ve got to finish them when they’re down.
“We know we came in here, their bullpen was spent so our whole game plan really was to try to get into their bullpen even though it’s not a bad bullpen, but they’re a tired bullpen.”
“I don’t know when the last time we had a sweep,” Baker continued.
“It seems like it’s been a long, long time ago. But we’ll take it. Especially [after] we saw the Cubs beat Miami in an exciting game in Chicago, and we’re back to 20 [games] over [.500], which we’ve been at two or three times, then we seem to go backwards.
“So, hopefully we can continue to pad our lead over .500 and also to pad our lead over Miami and the [New York] Mets.”
Tonight, the Nationals take on the Giants again a week after their four-game set in AT&T Park.
Washington took the first two games of that series, then dropped the third and fourth, leaving them 38-37 against San Francisco in the all-time series between the two teams and 18-12 against the Giants since 2012.
Gio Gonzalez, who starts tonight in the series opener, gave up six hits, two walks and two runs, one earned, in six innings on the mound against the Giants in AT&T Park last week, taking the loss in a 3-1 game.
Gonzalez faces the NL West’s current division leaders again tonight in the nation’s capital in the first of three with San Francisco in D.C.