- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Wilson Ramos had a unique multi-home run game.

Ramos hit two home runs off position players, Bryce Harper and Clint Robinson also went deep, and the Washington Nationals routed the Tampa Bay Rays, 16-4, on Tuesday night.

“We had a lot fun as a team,” Harper said.

With the game out of reach, Rays manager Kevin Cash used infielders Jake Elmore and Nick Franklin to pitch the final two innings. Ramos hit a solo shot against Elmore in the eighth and added a two-run drive off Franklin in the ninth to finish with four RBI.

“The last two at-bats, I was very, very relaxed at the plate,” he said. “I just used my hands to hit the ball. I was waiting for a good pitch and that’s the position I need to be with the regular pitcher. I need to see those videos because those two at-bats will help me. That made me feel good.”

When asked if Elmore or Franklin was more effective, Cash said “You’d have to ask Wilson Ramos.”

Harper hit his 22nd home run this season and finished a triple shy of the cycle with a walk. His long solo shot to center off C.J. Riefenhauser during a four-run fifth gave Washington a 10-0 lead. The ball landed on protective netting near a fish tank that is home to a group of cownose rays.

Robinson had a leadoff home run among his four hits and added an RBI double off Alex Colome during a six-run second inning that put the Nationals up, 6-0.

Danny Espinosa had a career-high five hits and was hit by a pitch from Franklin, but he was the only Washington starter to not drive in a run.

Tanner Roark (3-2) allowed one run and six hits over seven innings.

Yunel Escobar drove in three runs, one of eight Washington starters driving in at least one run.

The Nationals’ 23 hits were the most since relocating to Washington in 2005, and the most in franchise history since the Montreal Expos had 26 on May 7, 1997, at San Francisco.

“Everybody contributed,” Washington manager Matt Williams said.

Colome (3-3) gave up six runs, seven hits and three walks over two innings as Tampa Bay lost for just the fifth time in 17 games.

Rene Rivera hit a three-run home run in the ninth for the Rays.

Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria had two hits one day after leaving with a bruised left wrist, the result of being hit by a pitch Monday in the fifth inning.

Franklin pinch-hit for Longoria in the fifth with the Rays down, 10-1. Joey Butler had a run-scoring grounder earlier in the inning.

Cash said Longoria is fine and that he was removed due to the one-sided score.

Jordan Zimmermann (2-2) and Matt Andriese (1-1) are Wednesday night’s starters when the home-and-home series shifts to Washington.

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