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Nationals climb back to .500 after series win against Twins Special

By Leigh Goessl     Jun 10, 2013 in Sports
Washington - This past weekend the Minnesota Twins were in Washington to play the Nationals. While Twins took Game 1 on Saturday, the Nationals pulled back ahead and got the win in Sunday's doubleheader games.
Despite two rain delays over the weekend, Minnesota and Washington were able to complete the three-game series late Sunday night.
The series kicked off on Saturday where the two teams battled for the win in an 11-inning game.
In game 1, the Nationals got a strong start, taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning thanks to a Jayson Werth home run which also scored Denard Span, a former Twins player. However, the Twins took the lead back in the next inning after Twins' outfielder Josh Willingham, a former Nats' player, singled and subsequently scored; Justin Morneau also scored, tying up the game.
In the 5th inning, Joe Mauer homered, giving the Twins the lead. The Nats came back again in the bottom of the 7th after catcher Kurt Suzuki doubled and rookie Anthony Rendon scored. The battle continued for the rest of game 1 with baserunners being stranded on both sides.
In the 11th inning Ryan Doumit hit a single to center, which scored Chris Herrmann, giving the Twins the win, 4-3.
Before Game 2, Nationals' manager Davey Johnson called a brief team meeting, according to the Associated Press (courtesy Washington Post) and "appealed for more aggression at the plate".
And apparently, the team took these words to heart.
Johnson saw a lot more aggression in Game 2. The Nationals swept through the innings and tied up the series. Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann zipped along with a powerful appearance, only allowing 3 hits the entire game with no runs. Nationals took game 2 with a 7-0 win.
This win brought the Nationals back over the .500 mark. Unlike last year at this time when the Nationals steadily held first place in the NL East division, 2013 so far has told another story. The team has been struggling to even keep at .500.
Sunday night was part two of a double header; the makeup game for Friday night's rain delay. The Nationals bats came alive in this game, getting hit after hit despite a shaky start from Nats' pitcher Nathan Karns. Karns was replaced early in the game by reliever Craig Stammen. An unexpected downpour in Washington delayed the game, but after a brief approximate 10-minute pause, the game resumed.
Shortstop Ian Desmond's double in the 7th inning pulled the Nationals ahead after trailing for most of the game. Nationals win 5-4.
The Nationals have also been struggling this season, partially due to many of their starting players on the disabled list. However, rookie Anthony Rendon this weekend started to show off the power of his bat and the recently called up Jeff Kobernu got his first major league hit yesterday.
“It’s good to get back to .500 — and get on with it,” Johnson said, according to media reports.
Series recap:
Game 1 - Twins 4, Nats 3
Game 2 - Nats 7, Twins 0
Game 3 - Nats 5, Twins 4
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