Thru 4 1/2: Nats bats come to life

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Few pitchers have historically dominated the Nationals like Derek Lowe, who combined in 2007-08 went 3-1 with a 1.86 against them. The tide has turned this season, though, and culminated tonight with an impressive showing from Washington’s lineup against the sinkerball specialist.

The Nats piled up six runs and eight hits off Lowe and knocked him out after only 4 2/3 innings. Ian Desmond has homered, tripled and drawn a walk. Adam Dunn snapped out of his 0-for-26 slump with two doubles. Justin Maxwell has a triple and a single. And Ryan Zimmerman has reached base all three times he’s stepped to the plate. The only one who can’t seem to produce is Josh Willingham, who nearly broke out of his prolonged slump with a drive to the wall in center field, only to have Nate McLouth rob him of extra bases with a leaping grab.

On the other side, Livan Hernandez is doing a trademark Livan Hernandez performance. He’s giving up hits and putting men on base, but he’s not getting hurt. Only David Ross’ two-run double in the second resulting in any scoring.

So halfway through this one, it’s Nats 6, Braves 2, with Washington looking to notch its fifth straight win.

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Mark Zuckerman

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