Nationals use Big Fifth Inning to Avoid Sweep

Nationals use Big Fifth Inning to Avoid Sweep

TORONTO, ON – Josh Towers' streak of four consecutive wins came to a halt on Sunday when the Washington Nationals put up a big, five-run fifth inning to avoid being swept, winning 9-2.

It became the norm at the Rogers Centre, as the last five series in Toronto have been a sweep for either the home or road team. So after the Jays won the first two games in this three-game home stand and went up 2-0 on a Shea Hillenbrand two-run homer in the fourth off Tomo Ohka, it seemed the streak would survive and improve to six straight.

It all came crashing down in the fifth for Josh Towers though, who had won his previous four starts. The Nationals would rap off four straight singles before a Jose Guillen double off the wall in center field, clearing the bases for a 5-2 Washington lead.

Towers on the day went 4 and 1/3 innings, giving up five runs, all earned, on seven hits, dropping his record to (5-2).

Washington would put up three more run on the board in the seventh off reliever Vinnie Chulk, thanks to a Tony Blanco three-run shot to center. Blanco came on to replace Vinny Castilla who left the game in the third due to soreness in his left knee.

Tomo Ohka would settle down after the Hillenbrand home run, blanking the Jays for the next four innings, improving his record to (3-3).

Washington would add one more run in the top of the ninth on a fielder's choice by Carlos Baerga, scoring Blanco making it 9-2.

Gary Majewski would come in to pitch a scoreless ninth, his tenth consecutive scoreless inning, lowering his ERA to 1.53.

With an off-day Monday, the Blue Jays will welcome the Boston Red Sox to Rogers Centre Tuesday for a three-game set. Dave Bush (0-4) will try and get some revenge against Boston who's beaten him twice already this season. David Wells (2-4) will get the ball for the Red Sox, who has struggled in his last two starts giving up thirteen runs in only five innings.

The game on Tuesday can be heard on The FAN 590AM starting at 7pm EST - a television broadcast has not yet been announced.

InsideTheDome's Game Notes: Gregg Zaun was in Toronto on Sunday, and expects to play against Boston on Tuesday when he is activated from the disabled list…Aaron Hill has taken well to his first few days in the majors as he collected another two hits on Sunday. He is now 6-for-12 with three RBI and two runs scored…Jeffrey Hammonds left the game on Sunday during the fifth inning after pulling his right hamstring.

E-mail any questions or comments to: raxx2099@hotmail.com or bvangelatos@aol.com

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