Blowout by Bucs further dims Nationals’ optimism

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After Garrett Jones popped out, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker and Lyle Overbay hit consecutive RBI singles to make it 3-0.

The Pirates didn’t need any more runs, as it turned out, but they piled on. Marquis retired only one of the five batters he faced in the second inning. Jones and McCutchen chased him with back-to-back doubles. It was 8-0 before the Nationals’ second turn at bat.

Washington’s troubles didn’t end there. With first baseman Michael Morse already missing Sunday’s contest after being hit by a pitch during Saturday’s doubleheader, right fielder Jayson Werth left the game in the sixth inning after being hit on the left wrist.

Werth finished the afternoon 0-for-2 with a welt to show for it. He told Johnson he did not need an X-ray. “He’ll probably be down for a day or two,” Johnson said.

Wilson Ramos’ two-run homer in the second inning was one of few highlights for Washington.

About 30 minutes after the final out, Johnson emerged from the manager’s office and bounced from locker to locker, checking in with his players. He chatted with Ian Desmond and Roger Bernadina; something, maybe, to help the team recapture its lost momentum.

“We’re thinking long-term,” Desmond said. “We’re not really concerned about a loss here, a loss there. I think we know that we’re better than what we’re playing.”

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