Nationals return home to face Pirates

Washington’s Nationals scored 24 unanswered runs after falling behind 6-0 in the second game of three with the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park, before Trevor Rosenthal gave up a run in the ninth inning of the 15-1 win in the series finale.

With a comeback win in Tuesday night’s game, and a blowout win on Wednesday, skipper Davey Martinez’s squad wrapped up a 4-2 road trip through Flushing, Queens, NY and the City of Brotherly Love at 6-5 overall after a disappointing season-opening homestand.

“I said it all along,” Martinez told reporters after Wednesday’s game, “we’re playing well. Our bullpen is starting to pitch the way they’re capable of pitching, and we’re swinging the bats. Like I said yesterday, I’m proud of the guys. They prepare every day and they play every day … every out.

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“So we have a day off tomorrow and we’re going to enjoy our day off and come back Friday and do it again.”

Having played 11-straight games against their NL East rivals, six against the Mets, five with the Phillies, the Nationals return home for three with the Pittsburgh Pirates (6-4) and three with San Francisco’s Giants (4-9).

Back-to-back series with two of the teams that they’ll have to fight for the division title this season did, however, give the Nats’ second-year skipper a good idea of what it will take to come out on top in the East.

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We talked about how we were going to score runs this season without [Bryce Harper], and I said that I think we’d score plenty of runs, enough runs, but I thought we were going to score them differently, and I think you’ve seen that with Victor Robles playing extremely well at the bottom of the lineup, the top of the lineup doing well, especially with Trea [Turner] out, one of our best offensive players. We’re just grinding away.”

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