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Soriano ties franchise HR record as Nats beat D-Backs in Game 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Mired in last place in the NL East, the Washington Nationals are still fighting for every win they can get.

Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer and rookie Ryan Zimmerman's bases-loaded walk in the 11th inning lifted the Nationals over the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 Saturday for their first back-to-back wins in franchise history when trailing by two or more runs entering the ninth.

The Nationals trailed 6-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth.

"It feels good to win two games of any kind," manager Frank Robinson said. "It was especially nice for the kids that went out there and did a job for me on the mound and kept us in the ballgame. We're not going to pack it in until the season's over."

Bernie Castro led off the bottom half of the 11th with a walk against Arizona reliever Brandon Lyon (2-4). Robert Fick sacrificed him to second and Lyon intentionally walked Soriano.

"Walk the leadoff guy. That's not the way you want to go," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "You got to make them hit their way on base."

After Felipe Lopez walked to load the bases, Lyon lost Zimmerman on a full-count pitch. Zimmerman's bases-loaded walk gave him 90 RBI this season.

"I was looking for something to hit, trying to hit it to right-center and try to get the run in," Zimmerman said. "I was looking away. He was trying to nibble. I was surprised he came back with a 3-2 curveball."

Soriano tied the franchise record with his 44th homer in the ninth inning, a two-run shot to left that tied it at 6. His drive came off reliever Jorge Julio, who blew his first save opportunity since July 25.

"I didn't feel like I was gripping the ball," Julio said of his inside fastball to Soriano. "When I threw it, it slipped out of my fingers."

Chris Young went 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBI for the Diamondbacks, who have lost nine of their last 11 games.

Young, playing in his ninth major league game, put starter Miguel Batista in position to win his fifth straight decision before Julio allowed Soriano's homer. Batista limited the Nationals to five singles and one run in seven innings. He struck out five and walked three.

"He threw the ball extremely well -- certainly good enough to win a game and should have won a game," Melvin said.

Chad Cordero (6-4) struck out two in two hitless innings to get the win.

Billy Traber started for Washington and allowed four runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings. The Nationals used four other relievers to get to Cordero.

Young gave Arizona a 4-1 lead with a two-run double in the fourth inning that scored Damion Easley and Stephen Drew.

Ryan Church pulled the Nationals to 6-4 with a three-run homer off Tony Pena in the eighth. Nick Johnson started the rally with a double and Austin Kearns followed with a walk.

Beltran Perez, acquired Friday from Double-A Harrisburg, made his major league debut in the sixth for the Nationals. He pitched two innings and allowed one hit.

Eric Byrnes and Johnny Estrada started the fifth with back-to-back singles that chased Traber. Chris Booker, acquired Friday from Triple-A New Orleans, made his Nationals debut in relief of Traber. Booker struck out Carlos Quentin and got Easley to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Quentin homered in the eighth for the Diamondbacks.

Notes

  • Vladimir Guerrero hit 44 homers in 2000 to set the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals franchise record for home runs in a single season. "I feel happy because it's a very good number personally," Soriano said of tying the mark.
  • Booker, Perez and pinch-hitter Nook Logan are the 53rd, 54th and 55th players the Nationals have used this season, a National League high.
  • This was the first time the teams have met since May 11, 2005.
  • This was the first day-night doubleheader in Nationals' history.
  • The Nationals are 7-5 in extra-inning games. The Diamondbacks are 6-5.
  • Batista has not lost since June 20. He's won five straight decisions and had nine no-decisions, including his last four straight starts.
 
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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Alfonso Soriano (right) and Bernie Castro high five after Soriano's home run ties the game.  (AP)
Alfonso Soriano (right) and Bernie Castro high five after Soriano's home run ties the game. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

R. Church
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Arizona

C. Young
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 5
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF5035000
Orlando Hudson, 2B6010015
Conor Jackson, 1B4010002
   a- Craig Counsell, PH-3B1000000
Eric Byrnes, LF5020001
Johnny Estrada, C5010013
Carlos Quentin, RF4111023
Damion Easley, 3B-1B3310002
   b- Chad Tracy, PH-1B1000010
Stephen Drew, SS4220100
Miguel Batista, P1000000
   c- Tony Clark, PH1010000
    Tony Pena, P0000000
    Jorge Julio, P0000000
    Luis Vizcaino, P0000000
   d- Andy Green, PH1000000
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000
Totals4161361516 
a-fouled out for Jackson in the 9th
b-struck out for Easley in the 10th
c-singled for Batista in the 8th
d-flied out for Vizcaino in the 11th
Batting
2B - Chris Young 2 (, Traber, Traber), Eric Byrnes (, Traber)
HR - Carlos Quentin (, Schroder)
SF - Chris Young ()
SH - Miguel Batista 2 ()
RBI - Chris Young 5 (), Carlos Quentin ()
2-OUT RBI - Chris Young 2 ()
CS - Chris Young (, 2nd base by Perez/Schneider)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Hudson-Drew-Jackson
Arizona Diamondbacks
Miguel Batista 7511350
Tony Pena 1233131
Jorge Julio (BS,) 0.1122211
Luis Vizcaino 1.2000030
Brandon Lyon (L,-) 0.1011400
IBB - Soriano by Brandon Lyon
Pitches-Strikes - Miguel Batista 104-63, Tony Pena 28-17, Jorge Julio 18-8, Luis Vizcaino 27-16, Brandon Lyon 23-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Miguel Batista 9-6, Luis Vizcaino 1-1, Brandon Lyon 1-0
Batters Faced - Miguel Batista 28, Tony Pena 6, Jorge Julio 4, Luis Vizcaino 5, Brandon Lyon 5
Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF5112120
Felipe Lopez, SS3010310
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5011112
Nick Johnson, 1B5120012
    Chad Cordero, P0000000
Austin Kearns, RF4110101
Ryan Church, CF4213122
Brian Schneider, C4000122
Bernie Castro, 2B3211212
Billy Traber, P1000011
    Chris Booker, P0000000
   a- Henry Mateo, PH1000000
    Beltran Perez, P0000000
   b- Nook Logan, PH1000000
    Chris Schroder, P0000000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000
   c- Robert Fick, PH-1B1000011
Totals37787101213 
a-flied out for Booker in the 5th
b-flied out for Perez in the 7th
c-struck out for Rauch in the 9th
Batting
2B - Nick Johnson (, Pena)
HR - Alfonso Soriano (, Julio), Ryan Church (, Pena)
SH - Robert Fick ()
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (), Ryan Zimmerman (), Ryan Church 3 (), Bernie Castro ()
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Church 3 (), Bernie Castro ()
SB - Ryan Church (, 2nd base off Batista/Estrada), Bernie Castro (, 2nd base off Batista/Estrada)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Zimmerman-Castro-N. Johnson
Washington Nationals
Billy Traber 41044010
Chris Booker 1000010
Beltran Perez 2100000
Chris Schroder 1222111
Jon Rauch 1000000
Chad Cordero (W,-) 2000020
HBP - Quentin (by Billy Traber), Easley (by Chris Schroder)
Pitches-Strikes - Billy Traber 69-45, Chris Booker 7-5, Beltran Perez 21-13, Chris Schroder 35-19, Jon Rauch 9-5, Chad Cordero 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Billy Traber 5-6, Chris Booker 1-0, Beltran Perez 3-2, Jon Rauch 1-2, Chad Cordero 1-3
Batters Faced - Billy Traber 23, Chris Booker 2, Beltran Perez 6, Chris Schroder 7, Jon Rauch 3, Chad Cordero 6
Game Information
Attendance - 22012
Game Time - 3:37
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Kevin Causey