Willingham powers Nats with two slams

Josh Willingham hit two grand slams and tied a franchise record with eight RBIs, powering the Washington Nationals to a 14-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

Willingham became the 13th player to hit two grand slams in a game and first since Boston’s Bill Mueller hit one from each side of the plate on July 29, 2003, against Texas. Willingham’s eight RBIs were the most in Nationals history and tied the franchise mark, accomplished last by Tim Wallach for Montreal against San Diego in 1990.

Willingham hit his 15th homer off Jeff Suppan (5-8) with two out in the fifth, capping a six-run inning with a drive to left-center that struck the facing of the second deck. He connected again in the sixth, finishing a seven-run rally with a one-out shot off Mark DiFelice that hit the fencing above the Brewers‘ bullpen and dropped in to make it 13-5.

Double slammers
Players with two grand slams in one game:
Player, Team, Date
Josh Willingham, Washington, July 27, 2009
y-Bill Mueller, Boston, July 29, 2003
Nomar Garciaparra, Boston, May 10, 1999
x-Fernando Tatis, St. Louis, April 23, 1999
Chris Hoiles, Baltimore, Aug. 14, 1998
Robin Ventura, Chicago (AL), Sept. 4, 1995
Frank Robinson, Baltimore, June 26, 1970
Jim Northrup, Detroit, June 24, 1968
Tony Cloninger, Atlanta, July 3, 1966
Jim Gentile, Baltimore, May 9, 1961
Rudy York, Boston (AL), July 27, 1946
Jim Tabor, Boston (AL), July 4, 1939
Tony Lazzeri, New York (AL), May 24, 1936
x-in one inning
y-switch-hitter, one from each side of the plate

Willingham, who also doubled in the second, finished 3 for 5 and Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo homer in the eighth for the Nationals, who have won three straight to raise their major league-worst record to 31-68. They can match their season-best winning streak with a victory Tuesday.

Jason Bergmann (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings after rookie Craig Stammen was pulled one out short of qualifying for the win with Washington clinging to a 6-5 lead.

With series against the Nationals and San Diego, this was supposed to be the point of the schedule where the Brewers made up some much needed ground. Milwaukee is actively looking to trade for a starting pitcher before Friday’s deadline, but it may not matter much. The Brewers have allowed nine homers in the last four games.

Corey Hart hit his second homer in as many days and Ryan Braun added a two-run shot but the Brewers (49-50) fell below .500 for the first time since April 27 and are 7-15 since entering July with a two-game lead in the NL Central.

Willingham’s homers overshadowed a less-than-stellar start by Stammen. The rookie right-hander trailed 2-0 before Willingham put him ahead 6-2 after Suppan allowed an RBI single to Nyjer Morgan and walked Adam Dunn with the bases loaded earlier in the fifth.

Milwaukee cut it to 6-5 on Felipe Lopez‘s RBI single and Braun’s 20th homer, chasing Stammen with two outs in the fifth.

Suppan allowed 10 runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings.

NOTES: Willingham has four career grand slams. His first two were in 2007 with the Marlins.