Aug 3, 2011, 4:07 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Jonny Gomes’ takeout slide of David Ross set up Rick Ankiel’s grand slam.
The ball screamed off Rick Ankiel’s bat and soared toward center field, bringing four runners across the plate and the crowd at Nationals Park to its feet. That fourth-inning grand slam put the Nationals on top of the Braves and set them on a course toward a thoroughly enjoyable, 9-3 victory.
But the play that made Ankiel’s slam possible — and the play everyone was raving about inside the Nationals’ clubhouse afterward — came moments earlier, when Jonny Gomes upended catcher David Ross with a takeout slide, breaking up a potential double play and keeping the inning alive so Ankiel could step to the plate.
There’s your turning point of the night.
“Absolutely,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “Absolutely. Get the next guy to the plate and anything’s possible. If he doesn’t take him out right there like that, that might be a double play. Changes the momentum totally.”
There were no shortage of positive developments for the Nationals during their fourth straight victory, their most-lopsided win since Davey Johnson took over as manager. Ankiel clubbed the grand slam, his third homer in two days. Michael Morse crushed a ball into
NL EAST STANDINGS
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Strasburg pitches gem as Nats beat Mariners 3-1
- Manny Pacquiao to throw first pitch before Nats-Dodgers game
- Mets could lose Murphy for rest of season
- Nats blast King Felix, open series vs. Mariners with win
- Zimmermann, Nats get huge test with King Felix out in Seattle
- Nats extend contract with Single-A Hagerstown
- The Baseball Show: Williams for Manager of the Year?
- MLB Power Rankings: L.A. Angels flying high
- Mariners will have familiar face as manager vs. Nats this weekend
- Nats extend deal with Auburn Doubledays of NYP League