"It's baby steps," shortstop Ian Desmond said. "We haven't been swinging the bats really at all. To put up 11 hits is good. Now the next thing we tackle is hitting with runners in scoring position."
Starters Dan Haren and Jonathan Pettibone both went six innings. Haren had quite the eclectic line: six innings, three runs, 10 strikeouts, one walk and four hits — all for extra bases. Brown and Erik Kratz hit homers on back-to-back pitches in the second inning, and Pettibone and Jimmy Rollins pounded back-to-back doubles to produce a run in the fifth.
"Stuff-wise today was about as good as I've had all year," Haren said. "I just made a couple mistakes, but if I'm throwing like I am tonight we'll be good."
Pettibone, a rookie yet to lose a decision over seven starts, matched his career high with six strikeouts while scattering nine hits and three runs. He allowed single runs in the third, fourth and fifth.
NOTES: The play of the day was made accidentally by Nationals 2B Steve Lombardozzi. While trying to field a drag bunt by Freddy Galvis, Lombardozzi had the ball carom off his glove and his knee — and straight to 1B LaRoche for the out. ... Nationals OF Tyler Moore singled for the second straight game, raising his average to a still-dubious .139. His struggles earned a special mention when Johnson was talking about facial hair. "I told Tyler the reason I was growing this was for him, to change his luck," the manager said. ... The Nationals called up utility man Jeff Kobernus from Triple-A Syracuse and designated RHP Yunesky Maya for assignment. It was Kobernus' first day with the major league club, and his pregame duties included signing his name on a big white piece of paper so it could be scanned and put on the scoreboard if he made an appearance at the plate. Also, his parents flew in from California for the game, and they got to see him enter as a pinch runner in the eighth.