MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Robinson, Espinosa break out in Nats' win

First baseman hits mammoth homer; second baseman collects five hits

Robinson, Espinosa break out in Nats' win

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Nationals collected a season-high 23 hits as they pounded the Rays, 16-4, at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.

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Most of the production came from the bench. Second baseman Danny Espinosa had a career-high five hits, while first baseman Clint Robinson had four hits of his own.

Espinosa's five-hit game

Robinson had arguably the highlight of the night against right-hander Alex Colome in the second inning. On a 3-1 pitch, the left-handed-hitting Robinson hit a monster home run that landed in the right-field catwalk.

"I didn't see it. I heard that it never came down. They said it got stuck on the catwalk," Robinson said. "He threw a fastball, and I just hit it. It's not any different than any other."

With the four hits, Robinson raised his batting average to .286. He has been able to get consistent at-bats because of the injuries to first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and outfielder Jayson Werth.

"There is not a lot to my swing. It's not really hard to maintain," Robinson said. "It's something I've been doing for a long time. It's not anything special. Lately, I've been getting a lot of consistent at-bats, so that helps as far as the power stroke coming back a little bit."

Espinosa became the first player in Nationals history to collect five hits in a game. He is also the first second baseman since Dee Gordon to collect five hits in a game.

"I'm taking at-bat to at-bat, trying not to do too much," Espinosa said. "I didn't think something would be special after the first at-bat."

Espinosa said he wasn't upset that he wasn't able to get a sixth hit. Infielder Nick Franklin hit Espinosa with a pitch in the ninth inning.

"I wasn't really mad that I got it. It's a tough at-bat," Espinosa said.

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.