MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Espinosa's big blast gets Nats offense rolling

Espinosa's big blast gets Nats offense rolling

SAN DIEGO -- Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa had the biggest hit in Sunday's 10-5 victory over the Padres.

The Nationals were down, 2-0, and didn't have any hits against right-hander Ian Kennedy until the fifth inning, when Bryce Harper led off with a triple followed by Ryan Zimmerman's infield single. Two batters later, Espinosa came to the plate, swung at an 0-1 pitch and hit the ball over the right-field wall to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead.

"I got a good pitch to hit," Espinosa said. "I was trying to look for something I could drive. I got over-aggressive on the first pitch and I told myself to just be patient."

Espinosa is arguably having his best season as a member of the Nationals. He is hitting .275 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. Even more impressive, Espinosa is not striking out as much like he did in the last five seasons. This year, he has 25 strikeouts in 102 at-bats.

"All I know is last year," manager Matt Williams said. "Last year his head was getting out in front of his body. This year, he is sitting down at the plate a little bit more and he is letting the ball come to him. Anytime you can do that, you have a better chance of having a little bit of success. He loves to play. I love to put him in there. He delivered again today for us."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.