Aug 3, 2011, 4:07 AM EDT
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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
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