BOSTON -- After a tough first eight games to their season, capped by two ugly losses in Boston, the Nationals regrouped nicely on Wednesday with a 10-5 victory over the Red Sox in the finale of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
"It's big," manager Matt Williams said. "Considering the way it's gone on the road trip, it's good for us. Now we get a chance to go home."
The Nats came out swinging, jumping on Red Sox starter Wade Miley for two runs in the first and then knocking the lefty out with a six-run barrage in the third.
"We come away with a series win," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I will say we have the capability from a starting standpoint to keep a game under control, and that needs to be more consistent than this turn through the rotation."
Down, 8-2, Boston got a two-run homer in the fifth from Hanley Ramirez, the first of his career at Fenway Park. Brock Holt ripped an RBI double in the sixth, and the Sox were suddenly within three runs. But the Nationals grabbed the momentum back in the top of the seventh, thanks to a two-run homer by Tyler Moore against lefty reliever Robbie Ross Jr.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Scoring machine: For the second day in a row, the Nationals scored at least seven runs. Their biggest inning was the third, when they scored six runs. Wilson Ramos highlighted the scoring with three-run double. With the exception of Yunel Escobar, every Nats player in the starting lineup had at least one hit.
"Just swinging at the pitches they want to swing at," Williams said. "With the short porch here, you get a ball that's inner half and you can hit it over the fence. The biggest part is that they're getting in hitters' counts and taking advantage of it. It's what we want to do." More >
Miley misses his mark: Miley's home debut went none too smoothly. The left-handed sinkerballer left a number of pitches elevated in the strike zone, allowing the Nats to charge him with four extra-base hits and seven runs. The Red Sox pulled Miley after just 2 1/3 innings of work, making it the third-shortest start of his career, as his ERA ballooned to 10.57 after two starts. It was the latest subpar performance this turn through the rotation, marking the third time in the last four games a Boston starter hasn't gone five innings.
"Really, the whole outing wasn't very good," Miley said. "I never established the strike zone. I got behind in a lot of counts. That's what's going to happen." More >
Gio does enough: Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez won his first game of the season by throwing six innings and allowing five runs-- four earned -- on six hits.
WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES, KID
Right-hander Rafael Martin made his Major League debut on Wednesday afternoon and pitched two shutout innings, allowing a hit and striking out five.
"Everything I expected," Martin said. "I had a lot of adrenaline. I think I got more nervous when I was warming up. Once I got on the mound, it kind of went away. It was a good feeling." More >
PAUSE TO REMEMBER
Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon Bombings, and the Red Sox recognized the city-wide moment of silence at exactly 2:49 p.m. ET, which came in the fourth inning. A brief announcement preceding it provided details about the victims and was punctuated by the declaration, "We are one Boston." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
By taking two out of three against the Nationals, the Red Sox own the best Interleague record in the Majors since 2003 at 143-83. After playing six of the first nine games against National League foes, the Red Sox will stay with the American League until June 15, when they play the Braves.
WHAT'S NEXT Nationals: The Nationals return to Washington to begin a four-game series against the Phillies on Thursday. The last time these two teams met was last weekend at Citizens Bank Park, with the Phillies taking two out of three games. Doug Fister will take the mound in the opener. In his last outing, Fister didn't allow a run in 6 1/3 innings but received a no-decision in a 3-2 loss.
Red Sox: Following a day off on Thursday, the Red Sox open a four-game series against the Orioles at Fenway Park on Friday night. Right-hander Joe Kelly, coming off a strong first start of the season at Yankee Stadium, will get the start against right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.