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Span, Ramos lead Nationals' rout of Mets

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Washington center fielder Denard Span joked that he might end up with 30 home runs after he went deep for the first time on Saturday against the Mets.

After another homer Sunday against New York, Span may be more prophet than comedian. He had four hits, including a two-run shot in the sixth inning on Sunday, and the Nationals laced out 18 hits around Nationals Park in a 14-1 drubbing of the struggling Mets.

Catcher Wilson Ramos hit his first career grand slam, rookie starter pitcher Taylor Jordan got his first major-league win and shortstop Ian Desmond also had four hits as the Nationals beat the Mets for the third game in a row.

"Just another day at the ballpark," Span deadpanned. "I told you yesterday I might hit 30. I am on pace today (at this rate with 56 games left). More questions?"

The Nationals certainly had plenty of answers -- 18 of them in fact, with three doubles and two homers -- for Mets starter Carlos Torres (1-2), whose ERA rose from 0.94 to 3.13.

"His command was off," said Terry Collins, the Mets' manager. "We were very surprised. We obviously made some bad pitches. We have to pick it up and get to Miami and play better than we did today."

Washington manager Davey Johnson said Span has been more aggressive since moving to the No. 7 hole after batting leadoff most of the year. He now has two homers in 395 at bats.

"He is swinging the bat a lot better," Johnson said of Span. "I like his approach."

But Span said he does not think he is that aggressive. "I had three hits with two strikes," he noted.

Jordan (1-3), in his sixth major-league start, allowed one run and five hits in six innings with a career-high seven strikeouts.

"I am extremely happy. I am very happy I got the win because it means I am helping the team," Jordan said.

"Taylor, tip your cap to him. He gave us a chance to win. That is all you can ask," Span said. "It would have been hard to lose with the offensive support that Jordan got."

Ramos capped a five-run uprising in the third with a grand slam. That made the score 8-0 after Desmond had driven in a run earlier in the inning to make it 4-0.

"It was the first of my career. I am happy for that," Ramos said of his slam. "I was looking for something in the zone and made good contact."

Washington (52-54) scored three runs in the second as Ramos, who had a career-high five RBIs, had an RBI single for a 1-0 Nationals' lead. Bryce Harper drove in two with a line single to make the score 3-0.

Ryan Zimmerman had three hits for Washington a day after his walk-off homer beat the Mets.

Torres gave up eight runs in three innings before Gonzalez German came on to pitch for the Mets (46-56) in the fourth. Torres entered the game with the best ERA in the majors with those who had thrown at least 25 innings. New York scored in the fourth as an RBI single by former National Marlon Byrd made the score 8-1.

"The talent is there," Johnson said. "I have never given up on the talent."

NOTES: Jordan, who was called up from Double-A Harrisburg last month, was born in Merritt Island, Fla., just eight miles from the spring training home of the Nationals in Viera, Fla. ... Washington RHP Dan Haren, who got his first win since May on Saturday, said the Nationals have to get hot soon. "We don't have time to hit rock bottom," he said. ... Mets' 3B David Wright was not in the starting lineup as he got a rare day off. ... Mets' LHP Josh Edgin has allowed just two runs in his first 21 appearances (1.04 ERA) since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on June 10. He pitched a scoreless eighth on Sunday. "I was rushing my mechanics, maybe even rushing my thinking," he said of his struggles with the Mets in April. ... Washington pitching coach Steve McCatty was taken to a local hospital Sunday morning and was not with the team. Manager Davey Johnson said McCatty, who has had high blood pressure, will be kept in a local hospital as a precaution.
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