Nats score 8 unanswered, double up White Sox

Nats score 8 unanswered, double up White Sox

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper drove in three runs apiece, and the Nationals scored eight unanswered runs in a 10-5 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox lost for the fourth straight time, dropped to 2-11 in their last 13, 6-19 in their last 25 and fell back to .500 after being 23-10 at one point this year.

"We were 0-for-Chicago before today," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said, referencing the fact his club was swept by the Cubs at Wrigley Field earlier this season. "That's not a very good feeling."

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Rendon, Harper and other #ASGWorthy players

Neither Joe Ross nor Mat Latos pitched well in this Interleague series opener. Ross allowed five runs on four hits and four walks over four innings, while Latos couldn't hold a 5-2 advantage and yielded six runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"Looking at tonight, just the free passes," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Latos, who also walked four and struck out one. "You start out, their guy's struggling, get some runs and you give those back. That's the part that takes the wind out of you. They hit the ball, too, but the free passes are going to come back to haunt you."

It was Harper who put the Nationals ahead for good in the fifth when he launched a two-run double off Dan Jennings over the head of center fielder Austin Jackson. The Nationals added four in the sixth in an ugly inning against Matt Albers and Zach Duke, taking advantage of three hits, two walks, one hit batsman and a Tyler Saladino error. Blake Treinen earned the Washington victory, hurling three scoreless innings despite walking three.

Taylor's two-run double

"I liked the way we fought back," Baker said. "Didn't start off too good, didn't start off very well at all. ... We fought back, and at the same time, we kept adding on."

Rogers: Nationals in good hands with Rizzo, Baker

Comeback kids: In their last game against the Reds, the Nationals pulled off their biggest comeback victory of the season, overcoming a 5-0 deficit to win, 10-9. They followed that performance with a comeback win against the White Sox, rebounding from a 5-2 hole after the second inning. It was the fourth time this season the Nationals have scored 10 or more runs in a game, and the first time they have done so in back-to-back games since April 28-29, 2015. Rendon helped pace the Nationals by going 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs. More >

Rendon's two-run homer

"I think everybody on our team can swing any given night," Harper said. "We can go out there and score the runs we can. When we're down, we're never down. We're always just trying to battle the best we can and have good at-bats. ... On any night, we can go out there and score runs like that."

Latos struggles again: The Latos who allowed two runs on 14 hits over his first 24 1/3 innings this season seems to have disappeared. Factoring in Tuesday's effort, Latos has given up 29 earned runs on 50 hits over the last 36 innings. He has 19 strikeouts and 18 walks in that stretch.

Ventura on 10-5 loss to Nats

"I just felt like I was kind of fighting against myself mechanics-wise or whatever," Latos said. "I walked, what? Three, four, five, six, seven, I don't know. I just walked a [ton] of people. It was just a [poor] effort, period, on my behalf."

Middle production: It was a good game for Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier out of the three and four spots, respectively, in the White Sox lineup. Abreu knocked out two hits, giving him seven in his last four games, and drove in two, while Frazier connected for his 19th homer this season on a 3-0 pitch from Ross in the second.

Abreu's RBI single

Wild Ross: Ross has been one of the Nationals' best and most consistent starters this season, so it was rather uncharacteristic to see him struggle with his command like he did Tuesday. He issued a season-high four walks and matched a season high by allowing five runs in only four innings, although he struck out five. It had been seven days since Ross made his last start, which perhaps led to his struggles.

"I just felt a little out of rhythm," Ross said. "I was searching. The command wasn't there. I was just trying to do what I could with what I had."

"We have to keep battling. That's the name of the game. None of us are having fun right now. Baseball can be brutal at times."
-- Adam Eaton on the White Sox prolonged skid More >

Nationals: Max Scherzer will make his first start in seven days Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. ET, after he struck out 11 batters in eight innings on June 1 in a win over the Phillies. He owns a 2.54 ERA in 23 career starts against the White Sox.

White Sox: James Shields returns to the American League and makes his White Sox debut in a 7:10 p.m. CT contest at U.S. Cellular Field. Shields posted a 2-7 record and a 4.28 ERA with the Padres this season. More >

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.