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Washington at Arizona

Scoreboard
Washington010000100262
Arizona «00001011x3101

Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks are learning how to scratch out wins. That's a good sign, especially to those who remember the 2001 World Series champions.

Chad Tracy hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning, and the Diamondbacks beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 Wednesday -- their second consecutive victory by that score.

"We've been battling the whole nine innings, and we came out with a couple wins," Tracy said. "That's the nature of the game. It's fun to play in those games, but it's only fun when you win."

Manager Bob Melvin, who was Arizona's bench coach when the Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees in a memorable, seven-game series four years ago, said playing tight games -- and winning -- can harden a team.

"I'm not equating this team to that team," Melvin said. "We've got a long way to go. But I'm saying those kind of games can really build character, and if you play quite a few of them, it really makes you battle-tested."

Javier Vazquez pitched seven solid innings for the Diamondbacks, who earned their second straight win over a team that had bedeviled them. The Washington franchise won 10 straight against Arizona over the last two years before Tuesday night's 3-2 Diamondbacks victory.

With the score tied at 2, Troy Glaus and Shawn Green singled off Jon Rauch (1-3) with one out in the eighth. Tracy followed with a sharp liner to right, scoring Glaus and giving Arizona a 3-2 lead.

An intentional walk loaded the bases, but Rauch escaped further damage.

Lance Cormier (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win -- taking advantage of second baseman Craig Counsell's second spectacular defensive play -- and Brandon Lyon needed only six pitches to retire three Nationals in the ninth for his major league-leading 13th save.

Counsell, who also had three hits, ranged deep behind second for Vinny Castilla's grounder and threw him out in the second. He trumped that by diving to stop a smash by Ryan Church in the eighth, flipping the ball to Alex Cintron at second for an inning-ending forceout.

"He got it on his hands a little bit, and it's one of those right at the edge of your range," Counsell said.

Brian Schneider had two doubles for the Nationals, driving in a run with the first and giving them a 2-1 lead in the seventh when he scored after the second. Rookie Tony Blanco got his first major league RBI with a pinch-hit single in the seventh.

But Arizona answered in its half on Counsell's bloop RBI single.

Washington's Claudio Vargas allowed an unearned run and six hits in six innings in his first start since Sept. 17 at Philadelphia, and only his second start since June 18.

"We had opportunities to put them away and we just didn't take advantage of it," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "We had multiple opportunities and just couldn't get that big hit."

Vargas spent most of the second half of last season in the bullpen, and went on the disabled list March 16 after spraining his right elbow. He was activated late Tuesday.

Vazquez allowed two runs and six hits, striking out seven. It was his first no-decision in five starts. He won the last four.

"The guys have been scoring a lot of runs when I pitch," he said. "There are going to be times like this in 162 games."

The Diamondbacks tied it at 1 in the fifth after loading the bases on three straight singles, including an infield hit by Vazquez. Cintron lined out to Castilla at third, but when Castilla tried to double up Vazquez at second, Carlos Baerga's fielding error allowed a run to score.

"The throw was perfect," Baerga said. "The ball kind of hit, a little bit, the pitcher -- you know, his arm, and kicked the other way."

The Nationals scored in the second on back-to-back doubles by Baerga and Schneider. Vazquez then settled in, allowing only a bloop single by Vargas over his next 17 batters.

Notes

  • Washington's two errors were its first in 90 innings, keeping the Nationals from tying the franchise record of 10 consecutive error-free games. The 1977 Expos set the mark, and last year's club tied it.
  • Schneider's RBI double extended his hitting streak to eight games.
  • The Diamondbacks said LHP Randy Choate cleared waivers and has accepted his assignment to Triple-A Tucson.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Washington

C. Vargas
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 0
K 3
Arizona

C. Counsell
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, CF4000033 .296
Jamey Carroll, SS3000111 .356
Nick Johnson, 1B3000001 .328
Jose Guillen, RF4010011 .307
Ryan Church, LF4000013 .284
Vinny Castilla, 3B4000010 .292
Carlos Baerga, 2B4110000 .231
Brian Schneider, C4121000 .269
Claudio Vargas, P2010001 .500
   a- Tony Blanco, PH1011000 .267
    Hector Carrasco, P0000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
Totals332621710 
a-singled for Vargas in the 7th
Batting
2B - Carlos Baerga (1, Vazquez), Brian Schneider 2 (8, Vazquez, Vazquez)
RBI - Brian Schneider (10), Tony Blanco (1)
2-OUT RBI - Tony Blanco (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Carlos Baerga (2, missed catch), Jose Guillen (1, wild throw)
Washington Nationals
Claudio Vargas 6610030 0.00
Hector Carrasco (BS,2) 1111100 1.00
Jon Rauch (L,1-3) 1311110 3.65
IBB - McCracken by Jon Rauch
Pitches-Strikes - Claudio Vargas 92-58, Hector Carrasco 11-6, Jon Rauch 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Claudio Vargas 4-11, Hector Carrasco 3-0, Jon Rauch 1-1
Batters Faced - Claudio Vargas 24, Hector Carrasco 5, Jon Rauch 7
Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, 2B4031000 .291
Alex Cintron, SS4000012 .254
Luis Gonzalez, LF4000013 .302
Troy Glaus, 3B4120000 .288
Shawn Green, RF4010011 .258
Chad Tracy, 1B4011001 .275
Quinton McCracken, CF2110200 .198
Chris Snyder, C2110002 .234
   a- Tony Clark, PH1000013 .304
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
Javier Vazquez, P2010000 .235
   b- Jose Cruz Jr., PH1000001 .273
    Lance Cormier, P0000000 .000
   c- Koyie Hill, PH-C1000003 .195
Totals3331022416 
a-struck out for Snyder in the 8th
b-grounded out for Vazquez in the 7th
c-grounded out for Cormier in the 8th
Batting
2B - Craig Counsell (8, Vargas)
SH - Chris Snyder (1)
RBI - Craig Counsell (8), Chad Tracy (19)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Counsell (3)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Javier Vazquez (1, wild throw on pickoff attempt)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Javier Vazquez 7622070 4.41
Lance Cormier (W,2-0) 1000100 0.00
Brandon Lyon (S,13) 1000000 1.56
HBP - N. Johnson (by Javier Vazquez)
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 100-70, Lance Cormier 16-8, Brandon Lyon 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 7-7, Lance Cormier 2-1
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 28, Lance Cormier 4, Brandon Lyon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21011
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Joe Brinkman, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Bill Miller