Gio Gonzalez (9-3) pitched six innings on a steamy night when the gametime temperature was 97 degrees. He allowed two runs and seven hits, walking two and striking out four.
Gonzalez was displeased that he was hooked with the score tied.
“I was going to hook Gio after the sixth and he was working a big anger on me,” Johnson said.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the seventh on three walks issued by Craig Stammen and Michael Gonzalez. Ryan Mattheus struck out pinch-hitter Will Rhymes to end the inning.
Sean Burnett worked the eighth and Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Roger Bernadina’s RBI double in the seventh increased Washington’s lead to 5-2.
Tampa Bay scored in the second when Hideki Matsui walked and Jose Lobaton, Drew Sutton and Desmond Jennings singled.
The Nationals scored twice in the third off Matt Moore. Espinosa and Bryce Harper led off with walks, then pulled off a double steal. Michael Morse had a sacrifice fly and Desmond had an RBI single.
The Rays made it 2-all in the sixth on Ben Zobrist’s leadoff double and a one-out single by Sean Rodriguez.
Moore worked five innings. He allowed two runs and three hits, walking four and striking out six.