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Blog Entry: WASHINGTON -- Danny Espinosa drove in eight runs in April and tallied seven RBI in Washingtons latest victory. Ricardo Allen Jersey .So, after the Nationals shortstop hit a grand slam and a three-run homer in a 13-4 rout of Cincinnati on Thursday night, manager Dusty Baker offered some perspective on the performance.Thats quite a night, Baker said. Thats a week and month for some guys.Espinosas second career slam put Washington up 8-1 in the third inning, and his next drive made it 13-1 in the fourth. Espinosa ranks second on the team with 15 homers despite usually batting eighth.The switch-hitter connected off Brandon Finnegan (3-7) batting right-handed, then went deep from the left side against Josh Smith. He is the first Nationals player ever to homer from both sides of the plate, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.As his second home run cleared the fence in center field, Espinosa recalled, I was just happy. I had never done that in the big leagues, hitting a home run from both sides.Espinosas previous career high for RBI was six, and his only other grand slam came in his fifth major league game on Sept. 6, 2010.It was a rocky April for Espinosa -- as evidenced by those eight RBI -- and May was only slightly better. June, however, was a different story.Hes persevered, Baker said. Im happy for him. Now, he just needs to keep it going.Gio Gonzalez (4-7) gave up four runs and struck out nine over six innings for the NL East-leading Nationals, whose current winning streak comes on the heels of a seven-game skid. Gonzalez was 0-6 with an 8.44 ERA in his previous seven starts.Ryan Zimmerman got the rout started with a three-run homer in the first inning against the lowly Reds, who have lost eight of nine.Joey Votto homered for Cincinnati, which has yielded 40 runs in its last four games -- all of them defeats.Espinosas slam chased Finnegan, who surrendered eight runs, five hits and five walks in 2 1/3 innings.You all saw the game. Not much to say about it, Finnegan said. It was definitely my worst outing of the year -- of my life, honestly. Just have to get ready for my next start.He had never given up more runs, or gotten fewer outs as a starter.The lesson learned? It wasnt as much about the home runs as the five walks.Throw strikes, Finnegan said. Thats about it.Smith provided little relief, giving up five runs and four hits in 1 2/3 innings.Washington tied a season high for runs in a game without receiving a contribution from reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper, who was given the night off by Baker.His legs are a little tired, Baker said, noting that Harper twisted his ankle earlier in the week. Hes been playing through things the last couple days.HIT PARADEReds: It was the second time in seven games that Cincinnati lost by nine runs. The Reds have allowed at least 13 runs eight times this season.Nationals: During its five-game winning streak, Washington has outscored the opposition 36-12.TRAINERS ROOMReds: RHP Caleb Cotham (right shoulder inflammation) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Thursday night at Class-AA Pensacola against Chattanooga. Manager Bryan Price said the plan is to have Cotham pitch around five times in the minors, and then well reassess. Cotham has been on the DL since May 31. ... OF Billy Hamilton passed concussion protocol and was in the starting lineup after being struck in the face by a deflected line drive Wednesday.Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (back, ribs) is eligible to return from the DL on Friday, but that almost certainly will not happen. Im more inclined not to rush him, Baker said.UP NEXTReds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-0, 1.52 ERA) makes his fifth start of the season, bringing a 13-inning scoreless streak into Friday nights game against Washington.Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (7-5, 2.96) is 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA over his last four starts. Sean Harlow Jersey . Now, correct me if Im wrong but I saw one official distinctly pointing at the net indicating a good goal but after an inconclusive review they overturned the goal.  Shouldnt the ruling on the ice (good goal) stand after an inconclusive review?  Why was this overturned?  James Veaudry Pembroke, ON --  Hey Kerry, Youll get a lot of these, but why was the Montreal goal against Nashville Saturday night overturned? Eller puts the puck on net and the on ice ruling from the ref behind the net is a Montreal goal. Steve Bartkowski Jersey . -- The Missouri Tigers might not have a roster full of superstars. . Despite the cost, effort and an improved steroid test, its possible that very few -- if any -- positives will be detected, Dr. Richard Budgett told The Associated Press in an interview. "We just dont know what the results from Torino will be," Budgett said. CHICAGO -- Rajon Rondo has long been regarded as one of the most cerebral players in the NBA, but his ability to coexist with various coaches and teammates has been called into question at every stop during his professional journey. As the veteran point guard gears up for his 11th year in the league, this time as a member of the Chicago Bulls, the early returns have been surprising, given his track record.Bulls players, coaches and front-office personnel are singing his praises at every turn.The biggest thing that Ive been most impressed with with Rajon is, the minute he stepped on this floor, when he got back here in August, is he pulled everybody together, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said after Tuesdays practice. His voice -- hes got the best voice on the team.When you have your point guard out there that can get you into something and talk the way he does, that sets the tone for everybody. If you got a guy not only offensively getting you into something, but defensively making sure guys are pointing and talking and getting back and getting matched up in transition, thats where it starts. Hes been here. Hes been great. Hes a guy that [you] can watch film with -- in September before we got rolling here in camp. Hes been great, and today he got us off to a great start.It remains to be seen whether Rondo can maintain that level of both communication and production throughout the entire season, but Hoibergs words have been echoed for weeks by front-office personnel who have watched the impact the 30-year-old has had since signing with the Bulls in July. Rondo has set a tone for his teammates day after day in pre-training camp workouts that the young group is following. Rondo said during Mondays media day that he spent three hours talking to Hoiberg before signing with the Bulls, noting that Hoiberg was really intelligent. The plaudits being tossed Rondos way have come from all corners of an organization in desperate need of a stabilizing point guard presence after dealing with Derrick Roses injury woes for years.Hes super smart, Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler said. I think he really sees things before they even develop out there on the basketball floor, so it makes everybodys job a lot easier. And not only is he leading the team on offense, but hes constantly talking on defense, so hes letting everybody know where they have to be. And then [free-agent signing Dwyane] Wades the same way, so he makes everybodys job easier as well, and you learn from that, so you just follow suit for the most part.When the Bulls signed Rondo, the front office highlighted the fact that he was coming off a season in which he shot a career-high 36.5 percent on 3-pointers, but it is Rondos ability to see the floor and get his teammates involved that the Bulls are banking on. He averaged 11.7 assists per game a year ago, tying a career high, and sounds confident he will set up the Bulls offense the way Hoiberg wants.I think if you followed me in my career, thats what I do best, Rondo said. Its making guys jobs a lot easier. Thats what I do. Its not a concern if I will be able to do that. Its just a matter of us buying into tthe system, continuing to run the floor and getting stops defensively. Derrick Coleman Jersey. Butler has been struck so much by Rondos passing acumen that he has already offered up an apology for events that havent even transpired on the floor yet.Ill tell you right now, Ill apologize to Rajon early, Butler said. Hes going to fake me out with one of them damn passes. Hes going to do something crazy, and Im going to take off getting back on defense and the balls going to be coming to me in the corner. Its just incredible, because he sees everything. Oh, the defender took a wrong step this way, and Im like, Welp, hes going to shoot a layup, but he wants you to get a basket, man. And thats an incredible feeling. So Im sorry, Rajon, because youre going to definitely get a turnover from me one game.The Bulls were criticized throughout many corners of the league for signing Rondo over the summer, in large part due to his reputation for not being able to fit in well at times in various locker rooms. But Butler and the rest of his teammates dont sound concerned that Rondo will fracture the foundation the group is trying to build in Hoibergs second season. Butler, who struggled to gain footing in the Bulls locker room last season as the unquestioned leader of the team, is outwardly welcoming of the possibility of Rondo challenging him on certain issues.Im good with that, Butler said. I better challenge him right back if I see something hes not doing correctly. I want him to hold me accountable, me to hold him accountable. Everybody holding everybody accountable. Because then everybodys going to learn from their mistakes, theyre not going to do it again. But if you dont speak up on it and tell somebody what theyre doing, they dont know theyre doing anything wrong, so theyll just keep doing it.Ultimately, whether Rondos signing is a success or failure depends on the bottom line of wins and losses -- as is the case with any transaction in professional sports. But in order to do that, Rondo has to prove his critics wrong and show that he can help fit in with star players -- and big egos, like those of Wade?and Butler -- and mesh with younger players in the process. Hoiberg admitted that some of the Bulls young core has already started gravitating toward Rondo over the first few weeks of the new year. What will be more interesting to watch as the season progresses is whether Rondo -- and Wade -- can impart some of their championship wisdom toward Butler as the 27-year-old tries to elevate his status as a star player.Both Butler and the Bulls organization are trying to focus on how Rondo can help them in the present and future, not on any mistakes he might have made in the past.When you put good basketball players out there on the floor, you just go, Butler said. Everything falls into place, falls into line. You dont have to worry about too much of anything. And with him, hes an incredible leader, and he just wants everybody to be successful and hes going to put you in a position for you to do just that. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '