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“That pitching must’ve been awful tough down at Potomac,” Johnson quipped.

The Nationals ushered Ramos into the dugout amidst a sea of high fives as the 38,221 who packed Nationals Park on his holiday afternoon cheered ever-louder. They wanted more from him. At the urging of Desmond and Werth, Ramos obliged. He came to the top step and waved. The fans went wild.

Two innings later, Rafael Soriano secured his 22nd save, and the Nationals' 43rd victory, of the season.

“It was a great moment,” Ramos said. “I have to keep working. A lot’s happened in my career. A lot of bad moments, good moments. I have to learn from the bad moments and enjoy the good moments.”

Ramos spoke softly. He struggled to keep the smile from his face. Was it possible, a reporter asked, for him to have a better day than this one?

“I can try,” he said.