Desmond, Espinosa solid up the middle

Desmond, Espinosa solid up the middle

BOSTON -- In their 4-2 victory over the Red Sox on Saturday, the Nationals showed they have great defense up the middle with shortstop Ian Desmond and second baseman Danny Espinosa.

In the fourth inning, while the infield shifted over toward the right side of the diamond, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz hit the ball on the right side of second base. It looked like the ball would go through for a hit, but Desmond grabbed it and threw out Ortiz by a couple of steps.

Two innings later, Adrian Gonzalez hit a blooper behind second base. Espinosa leaped and caught the ball for the second out of the inning.

"Those two have been incredible," Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said. "In fact, there have been a lot of balls, especially early on, I kind of gave up on, thinking they were base hits. I found myself busting it over to first. Now, if it's on the ground, they are probably going to get to it."

Desmond and Espinosa started working together on a regular basis last year, and they have an idea what they can do when it is game time.

"We talk about stuff, make movements on the field when we are facing guys. I think Ian and I work real well together," Espinosa said. "We get along well. Ian and I hang out. We can tell each other what to do, what we want to do, so it helps a lot."