RF Bryce Harper hit a homer in the series opener Tuesday, but Thursday?he struck out three times. He went 0-for-4 for the second day in a row, both losses. He’s still hitting a robust .365.
RHP Tanner Roark took the loss in his first career start at PNC Park. He allowed seven runs on eight hits -- including two home runs -- over five-plus innings, with three strikeouts and four walks. One of his walks brought in run with the bases loaded. “I feel like my issue all year has been walks,” Roark said. “The game is testing me right now. I just have to fight back and not give in, continue to work hard and keep doing my thing. I just feel like the walks were the main thing. Limit the walks and you’ll be out there longer.”
1B Ryan Zimmerman was given the day off from starting, but he entered the game in the sixth. He went 1-for-2, picking up one of just six hits by the Nationals, a double in the seventh. He has a hit in 18 of his past 23 games. He moved ahead of Bryce Harper to lead Washington with a .376 batting average.
2B Daniel Murphy was 2-for-4 with a solo homer, his sixth dinger of the season and first since May 9. In his past 20 games, he is batting .320 (24-of-75) with four doubles, a triple, four homers and 17 RBIs.