Thru 3: An early lead

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This is the best start the Nationals have had in a couple weeks—they’re being aggressive against John Maine, playing good defense and getting a smooth start from John Lannan. The Nats lead 3-0 after 3.

Three of the first four Nats batters swung at the first pitch in the first inning, and two of those three got hits — Nick Johnson doubled to center, and Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer that spiked off the ribbon scoreboard separating the upper and lower deck in center field. Ryan Zimmerman also drove in a run with a single over shortstop Wilson Valdez.

The Nats have also turned three double plays so far—as much a function of Lannan controlling his fastball as anything. Manny Acta talked this afternoon about how Lannan had a good bullpen session this week and was trying to get back to throwing strikes and letting the sink on his fastball produce outs, rather than trying to strike batters out. He’s done that so far, giving up just one hit. Johnson also made a slick diving stop and flipped to Lannan, who beat Maine in a footrace to the bag that ended the top of the third.

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