PHOENIX -- The Nationals hoped their breakout offensive performance from the previous night, when they set a season-high in runs and hits, would carry over. They responded by hammering 15 hits, three of which were home runs, in a 10-4 victory over the D-backs on Tuesday at Chase Field.
The game was tied with two outs in the top of the fifth, before Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray allowed a single, a walk and Wilson Ramos' three-run homer. Chris Heisey followed Ramos with a homer of his own, the 13th time the team has hit back-to-back homers this season.
Jayson Werth added a solo homer in the seventh and the Nationals added a three-spot in the eighth to post double-digit runs for the second consecutive game. Washington right-hander Tanner Roark delivered another solid outing, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings
"It's been a lot of fun to watch," Roark said about the Nationals' offense. "Have guys coming out there and putting good swings on the ball and not trying to do too much, taking what's given to them, and that's what great about this team. We're not too selfish."
Washington right-hander Tanner Roark delivered another solid outing, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Arizona did manage solo home runs from Yasmany Tomas and Jake Lamb, but that wasn't enough to back Ray, who was making his first career start against the team that selected him in the first round of the 2010 Draft. He started strong, but ran into trouble late in his outing as the D-backs lost for the 24th time in their last 30 games.
"We've got to do better. It's tough. They're battling their hearts out, and the relievers are just having a hard time putting zeros on the board. That's important when you're down," Arizona manager Chip Hale said. "It's disheartening when they just keep going out there and giving up even one."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Offensive barrage: The Nationals had not recorded 15 hits or more in back-to-back games since April 28-29, 2015, against the Braves. And once again they got contributions up and down the lineup. Ramos' homer was the 16th homer of the season, matching the career high he set in '13. Wilmer Difo had three hits, while Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner each collected two. The Nationals have outscored the D-backs 24-5 through the first two games of this series.
Third time's not the charm: Ray has struggled when facing teams the third time through their order, and Tuesday was no different. Locked in a 2-2 duel through the first 4 2/3 innings, Ray's outing quickly fell apart. He allowed homers on consecutive pitches to Ramos and Heisey and was suddenly trailing, 6-2. Opposing teams are batting .359 against Ray the third time through the order.
"I went back and looked at it, it was a good pitch to Ramos. It was down, I don't even think it was a strike, he just reached out and flicked it," Ray said. "I made the pitch I wanted to make. If it's an inch lower, he probably swings over the top of it." More >
Difo steps in : Once Bryce Harper was scratched from the starting lineup with an illness, Trea Turner was moved from second base to center field, Chris Heisey switched from center to right and manager Dusty Baker asked Difo whether he felt comfortable at second, a position he had played in the past, but had not played in any of the 95 games in the Minors this season. Difo said he was up to the challenge and responded with a diving stop to turn a double play in the first inning to go along with his three hits and RBI.
"He told me he could catch if I asked him," Baker said. "He just wanted to be put in the lineup. He had a heck of a night and he got us on the board." More >
Bring it on home: Hale said the team is adjusting Tomas' pregame routine at home in an attempt to get the outfielder to replicate the offensive numbers he's posted on the road. It appears to be off to a good start, as Tomas hit a solo shot in the second and finished 2-for-3, reaching base three times. Tomas has 18 homers, but only four at home. He is batting .309 on the road and just .229 at Chase Field.
"People keep harping on the home/road stuff and he's taking what he did on the road home," Hale said. "He's growing up, he learns from his mistakes."
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
The Nationals won a quick challenge in the bottom of the first, completing an impressively turned double play. With the bases loaded and no outs, Lamb hit a grounder to second, which was corralled on a diving stop by Turner. Turner flipped it to shortstop Danny Espinosa for the out at second, but Lamb was called safe on Espinosa's throw to first. After a review of just 38 seconds, the call was overturned and Lamb was out.
In the bottom of the fifth, Washington won another challenge. With one out, Arizona's Michael Bourn was called safe on a ground ball hit to first baseman Murphy, who flipped it to Roark covering the bag. However, the call was overturned and Bourn was ruled out.
WHAT'S NEXT Nationals: The Nats wrap up this nine-game road trip with Wednesday afternoon's series finale at Chase Field. Max Scherzer (11-6, 2.85 ERA) will face the team that drafted him as he aims to build off a strong July. In five starts, he posted a 1.32 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 34 innings.
D-backs:Zack Godley takes the mound for the series finale at 12:40 p.m. MST. Godley, who has been shuttled between Triple-A Reno and the Majors several times this season, went 2-1 in four July starts for the D-backs. However, he had a 6.23 ERA in those outings. Godley is making his first career appearance against Washington.