Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com


From the aftermath in Washington, D.C., according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post:

When Wilson Ramos plays, he hits. Ramos is staying healthy, playing almost every day, and producing. In the Nationals’ 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon, he produced two hits and drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth, one that clinched Washington’s first series sweep of the season.

The Nationals are charging now, beating National League East competition, arguing that April was an aberration, doing roughly what everyone thought they would all along. They did not play perfectly Sunday afternoon, but these days, the Nationals are overcoming imperfection. They have won 10 of their last 12 games, going 5-1 on this homestand, and therefore embark on their first trip out West at 17-15, two games over .500. That is not an impressive record, but framed on the mat of Washington’s early season injuries and losses, it is a telling one.

The Big Red Blur

On to Cincinnati, where the Braves hope to survive the Reds’s running tack. They lead the majors with 37 stolen bases in 39 attempts and they swiped six bases in the four-game series against the Braves at Turner Field, including five off of rookie right-hander Mike Foltynewicz. Speedster Billy Hamilton is leading the majors with 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts and that’s despite batting only .203 on the season with a .258 on-base percentage.

Familiar faces

Former Brave Brayan Pena is seeing plenty of action behind the plate for Cincinnati with Devin Mesoraco limited by a hip injury. Pena went 3-for-11 in last week’s series against the Braves. Former Braves’ farmhand J.J. Hoover pitched a pair of scoreless innings of relief against the Braves in Atlanta last week. For his career, he’s 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in eight relief appearances against the Braves.

Votto’s back

Reds first baseman Joey Votto is back from a one-game suspension for bumping chests with umpire Chris Conroy during an argument over balls and strikes Wednesday in Pittsburgh. He sat out the first game of the Reds’ Saturday doubleheader against the White Sox. He came back with three hits in the second game.

Hello, Hondo

On last piece of Nationals business. Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman last month became Washington’s second-most prolific home run hitter in the city’s major league history, which covers over 80 years and three franchises. Zimmerman, 30 and in his 10th season, has reached the 20-homer mark six times but still has a ways to go before he catches big Frank Howard, the Capital Punisher, whose 237 homers came in just seven seasons with the Senators.

Player HRs

1. Frank Howard 237

2. Ryan Zimmerman 186

3. Roy Sievers 184

4. Jim Lemon 144