Since manager Davey Johnson decided to flip-flop his batting order, the surging Washington Nationals appear to have found their groove at the plate.
Seeking a fifth straight win, the Nationals may need another big offensive showing in Monday night's opener against the Philadelphia Phillies given the way scheduled starter Dan Haren has struggled.
After his team was limited to a total of one run and 13 hits in consecutive losses July 2 and 3, Johnson moved shortstop Ian Desmond up to second in the batting order and dropped outfielder Jayson Werth down to sixth.
Since then, Washington (46-42) is averaging 8.0 runs with a .341 batting average while winning four straight games. Werth has gone 8 for 13 with five runs and Desmond has also scored five times while going 6 for 15.
Ryan Zimmerman provided the big blow with a grand slam and Bryce Harper added three hits in Sunday's 11-7 win over San Diego to cap a 5-2 homestand.
"We've played below our potential and now we're coming around...