Nationals Game Notes: July 4 vs. Milwaukee Brewers

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Milwaukee Brewers (35-46) vs. Washington Nationals (50-33)
RHP Junior Guerra [5-1 3.25] | RHP Max Scherzer [9-5, 3.30]
Monday, July 4 l Game #84 / Home #40 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C l 11:05 A.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

A CAPITOL FOURTH
The Washington Nationals will ring in the Fourth of July with their annual 11:05 a.m. game on Monday, welcoming the Milwaukee Brewers to D.C. to celebrate the holiday with the opener of a three-game set…Washington is 7-4 when playing on July 4, and 7-3 when playing in the nation’s capital on this day.

  • The three-game series with the Brewers will conclude the Nationals’ longest homestand of the season to date (10 games) as well as the first-half home slate…Washington will travel to New York for four games before the All-Star break, but will open the second half with a nine-game homestand vs. Pittsburgh, Los Angeles (NL), and San Diego.
  • At 50-33 (.602), the Nationals are just the fourth team in the Major Leagues to reach the 50-win mark, securing victory No. 50 with a 12-1 thrashing of the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday…Washington possess the third-best record in the National League, behind only the Chicago Cubs (51-30, .630) and the San Francisco Giants (52-32, .619).

A SERIES FOR THE AGES
Nationals SS Danny Espinosa clubbed his 17th and 18th home runs of the season on Sunday afternoon, including his second grand slam in four days, and drove in six runs…Over the course of the Nationals’ four-game set with the Reds, Espinosa hit five home runs and drove in 15 RBI (a franchise record)…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since RBI became an official statistic (1920), the only other players to match Espinosa’s totals in homers and RBI in a series of no more than four games were: NYY’s Tony Lazzeri (at PHI, 1936: 6 HR, 16 RBI in 4 G), STL’s Chet Laabs (at PHI, 1942: 5 HR, 15 RBI in 4 G), and SDP’s Nate Colbert (at ATL, 1972: 6 HR, 15 RBI in 4 G).

  • Espinosa, who homered from both sides of the plate on Thursday (6/30) as well as Sunday and included a grand slam in each, is just the fifth shortstop in Major League history to hit two grand slams in the same series (via Elias)…He joins: Travis Jackson (1924, Giants at Philadelphia, 5 G series), Nomar Garciaparra (1999, Red Sox vs. Mariners, 3 G series), David Eckstein (2002, Angels vs. Blue Jays, 3 G series), and Hanley Ramirez (2009, Marlins vs. Orioles, 3 G series).
  • With the fifth multi-homer game of his career (second of 2016), Espinosa joined DET’s Victor Martinez as the only players to post multi-homer games from different sides of the plate twice this season…According to STATS, Inc., Espinosa is the first National League player to accomplish that feat since Carlos Beltran did it for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013…He is the only player in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to do it twice in the same season.
  • Espinosa now leads the Nationals in home runs with 18, 12 of which have been hit since June 1…Only one shortstop in the Major Leagues has hit more home runs this season than Espinosa: COL’s Trevor Story (19)…On this homestand, Espinosa is 11-for-26 (.423), 5 HR, 2 2B, 17 RBI, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 8 R.

STRAS RETURNS, STAYS STREAKING
RHP Stephen Strasburg returned to the Nationals’ active roster on Sunday after missing 17 games due to an upper back strain and picked up right where left off, extending his personal winning streak to 14 games (dating to Sept. 15, 2015)…The 14-game streak is a franchise best (Nationals Expos) and trails only RHP Firpo Marberry (17 G, 6/23/30-7/25/31), and RHP General Crowder (15 G, 8/2/32-4/12/33) for the longest winning streak by a starting pitcher in D.C.-baseball history.

  • Strasburg is the only remaining qualified starter in the Major Leagues not to suffer a losing decision…According to Elias, Strasburg is the first National League starter to begin a season 11-0 since SDP RHP Andy Hawkins went 11-0 in 1985…LHP Hooks Wiltse and RHP Joe McGinnity began a season 12-0 in the NL (1904)…LHP Rube Marquard began the 1912 season 18-0 for the New York Giants.

HOMERS ON PARADE
The Nationals clubbed a season-high six home runs on Sunday, matching a Nationals record (2005-present) for longballs in a game (last: Aug. 29, 2014 at SEA)…SS Danny Espinosa (2), C Wilson Ramos, RF Bryce Harper, 3B Anthony Rendon, and 2B Stephen Drew all homered in the contest.

  • Rendon and Espinosa slugged back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the 10th time the Nationals have hit back-to-back jacks this season…The 2016 Nationals are the first team in club history to hit 10 sets of back-to-back home runs, and they join only the 1999 Expos in franchise history (also 10).

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