Jun 17, 2011, 4:48 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Danny Espinosa heads for home as Bo Porter celebrates the game-winning homer.
As the ball sailed off Yadier Molina’s bat and Drew Storen pursed his lips in frustration on the mound, the air suddenly was sucked out of Nationals Park. Three outs from securing their sixth straight win, the Nationals instead were about to blow this game to the Cardinals in demoralizing fashion.
Inside the home dugout, though, the confidence level never wavered. Perhaps a couple of weeks ago, when the Nationals were finding new ways every night to lose close games, there would have been doubts. Not the way they’re playing these days.
“We were on the wrong side of a lot of 1-run games early on,” left fielder Laynce Nix said. “And then we won a few 2-1 games: 2-1 in San Diego, two in a row, coming back from behind. It’s been a good last week. So I think when we get into situations, we have confidence that we can come through and win these games.”
Sure enough, they found a way to do it again Thursday night. After watching Storen serve up the game-tying homer in the ninth, they watched as Danny Espinosa won it in the 10th with a three-run bomb into the right-field bullpen.
That 7-4, walk-off win was merely the sixth straight victory for what is suddenly one of baseball’s hottest teams. It’s the longest such streak
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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