WASHINGTON -- The Nationals entered Tuesday night's game in a brief slumber, averaging just 2.8 runs in the previous five games, but their Major League-leading offense has shown to be capable of outbursts at any point.
In a rain-soaked fourth inning of this 10-1 victory against the Mariners, the Nats scored eight runs and hammered nine hits, none louder or more voracious than a mammoth homer from Bryce Harper.
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Jayson Werth had just hit a two-run homer before Harper launched a 450-foot solo homer to dead center field, the third-longest home run for the Nats this season, according to Statcast™. This was Harper's second-longest homer of the season; he hit one 451 feet against the Rockies at Coors Field on April 27.
Anthony Rendon, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning, added a three-run shot to increase the lead to 10-0, all at the expense of Mariners right-hander Christian Bergman. Rendon notched his second career multi-homer game and collected five RBIs, nearly invoking memories of his historic April 30, when he went 6-for-6 with three homers and 10 RBIs against the Mets.
"Those big innings turn into like a feeding frenzy," manager Dusty Baker said. "Everybody starts being more aggressive at the plate."
It was the Nationals offense showing off its enormous potential, one of the main reasons the club began the day commanding a seven-game lead in the National League East, the largest division advantage in the Majors.
All 11 balls put in play in the bottom of the fourth inning were hit 95 mph or higher, the most balls in play hit that hard in a single inning in the Statcast™ Era. The previous high was nine by the Rangers (fourth inning on Sept. 2, 2016). The nine hits in the inning tied a Nationals team record.
"It's fun to be a part of when you get going like that," said first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who singled and scored in the inning. "It doesn't happen very often, so you just try to enjoy it and keep going."