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Diamondbacks 4, Nationals 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- As yet another Washington Nationals starter struggled, team president Stan Kasten wryly observed, "Just your typical 40-pitch inning."

For the record, Jason Bergmann needed 50 pitches to get through a three-run first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night. Orlando Hudson homered off Bergmann in the third to add to the lead, and Arizona held on for a 4-3 victory over Washington.

"It seems like if we just get rid of that first inning," Washington's Ryan Church said, "we'll be all right."

Indeed, the Nationals have been outscored 8-0 in first innings so far, and they've put themselves in a big hole four times in four games. In their opening three-game series against Florida, the Nationals:

  trailed 3-0 in the second and 6-0 in the fourth inning of Game 1, and lost;
 trailed 5-0 in the second and 6-0 in the sixth inning of Game 2, and lost;
 trailed 5-0 in the third inning of Game 3, but won 7-6.

This time, the Diamondbacks were up 4-0 by the third, and Edgar Gonzalez (1-0) and four relievers made it stand up.

Gonzalez said teammate Livan Hernandez -- the right-hander Washington traded to Arizona last season -- told him to throw more changeups than usual. So Gonzalez did, and that might have contributed to Washington's 0-for-13 day with runners in scoring position.

Bergmann (0-1) departed after allowing four runs in 3 2/3 innings -- which actually lowered the ERA of Washington's starters from 11.37 to 11.02.

"We were just patient with him. That was the key," said Arizona's Eric Byrnes, who led off the game with a single and eventually scored on a bases-loaded walk. "It wasn't that we were hitting the ball off him. We made him throw a lot of pitches, and we were fortunate to get a few runs in the first inning."

Bergmann's problem was control: The right-hander's line had more walks (six) than hits (five), and 42 of his 91 pitches were balls.

"He couldn't throw strikes," manager Manny Acta said. "He's got good stuff. He's got to trust it."

Arizona took its 3-0 lead with the benefit of three walks and two singles in the first, when the big hit was Chris Young's two-run single. The inning's other run was forced in when Bergmann walked Conor Jackson with the bases loaded.

Hudson then led off the third by homering to left-center to make it 4-0.

Gonzalez needed 99 pitches to get through his five innings, but he weaved in and out of trouble and gave up only two runs. Two walks helped load the bases in the third, for example, but Gonzalez induced Brian Schneider to fly out to the warning track in right.

The Nationals made it 4-1 on reliever Micah Bowie's groundout to the right side -- the lefty's first RBI since 1999. Dmitri Young's solo shot made it 4-2 in the fifth. And in the seventh, Austin Kearns singled, moved to third on Young's double, and scored on Schneider's fielder's choice to make it 4-3.

But Brandon Lyon threw a scoreless eighth, and Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in two chances.

The Nationals stayed close, though, thanks to a bullpen that stretched its scoreless streak to 10 1/3 innings.

"We've got to add on when we've got them on the ropes," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

Notes

  • The announced attendance of 16,017 was the lowest for a Nationals home game since the team moved to Washington in 2005.
  • Arizona OF Scott Hairston left in the first inning after fouling a ball off his left knee and was replaced during that at-bat by Robby Hammock , who stayed in the game to play left. Hairston said he expected to be able to play Friday.
  • Byrnes, who had at least two hits in each of the season's first three games, went 1-for-3 with two walks.
  • Schneider has four RBI this season, but none came thanks to a hit: Instead, he drove in runs with two sacrifice flies, a groundout and Thursday's fielder's choice.
 
Copyright 2015 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

D. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Arizona

O. Hudson
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Eric Byrnes, RF3110200 .471
Alberto Callaspo, SS5000005 .273
Orlando Hudson, 2B4221102 .412
Chad Tracy, 3B3100223 .143
Scott Hairston, LF0000000 .308
   a- Robby Hammock, PH-LF4000004 .200
Conor Jackson, 1B2011200 .231
Chris Young, CF4012012 .143
Chris Snyder, C4000012 .222
Edgar Gonzalez, P2010000 .500
   b- Brian Barden, PH1000000 .000
    Brandon Medders, P0000000 .000
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
   c- Tony Clark, PH1000000 .000
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Totals3346474  
a-popped out for Hairston in the 1st
b-grounded out for E. Gonzalez in the 6th
c-grounded out for Slaten in the 8th
Batting
HR - Orlando Hudson (1, Bergmann)
RBI - Orlando Hudson (4), Conor Jackson (3), Chris Young 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Conor Jackson (1), Chris Young 2 (2)
SB - Eric Byrnes (2, 2nd base off Bergmann/Schneider)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
PB - Chris Snyder 2 (2)
E - Orlando Hudson (1, Misplayed grounder)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Edgar Gonzalez (W,1-0) 5722271 3.60
Brandon Medders (H,1) 1.1211010 6.75
Doug Slaten (H,1) 0.2100000 0.00
Brandon Lyon (H,2) 1100000 0.00
Jose Valverde (S,2) 1000010 3.38
WP - Brandon Medders (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Edgar Gonzalez 99-67, Brandon Medders 22-13, Doug Slaten 6-4, Brandon Lyon 12-7, Jose Valverde 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edgar Gonzalez 5-4, Brandon Medders 2-1, Doug Slaten 2-0, Brandon Lyon 1-2, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Edgar Gonzalez 25, Brandon Medders 6, Doug Slaten 3, Brandon Lyon 4, Jose Valverde 3
Washington Nationals
Felipe Lopez, SS5020011 .353
Kory Casto, LF5000033 .143
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4010110 .353
Austin Kearns, RF5120021 .313
Dmitri Young, 1B4121110 .375
Brian Schneider, C4021003 .214
Ryan Church, CF4110012 .286
Ronnie Belliard, 2B4010003 .444
Jason Bergmann, P1000002 .000
    Micah Bowie, P1001000 .000
   a- Chris Snelling, PH1000001 .200
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
   b- Robert Fick, PH1000000 .250
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
Totals39311329  
a-lined out for Bowie in the 6th
b-flied out for Colome in the 8th
Batting
2B - Felipe Lopez (1, Lyon), Austin Kearns (2, E. Gonzalez), Dmitri Young (3, Slaten), Brian Schneider (1, E. Gonzalez), Ryan Church (3, E. Gonzalez)
HR - Dmitri Young (1, E. Gonzalez)
RBI - Dmitri Young (4), Brian Schneider (4), Micah Bowie (1)
2-OUT RBI - Dmitri Young (1)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - F. Lopez-Belliard-Young
E - Felipe Lopez (1, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
Jason Bergmann (L,0-1) 3.2544611 9.82
Micah Bowie 2.1000120 4.50
Jesus Colome 2100000 0.00
Jon Rauch 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Bergmann 91-49, Micah Bowie 43-25, Jesus Colome 25-16, Jon Rauch 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Bergmann 4-5, Micah Bowie 2-4, Jesus Colome 3-3, Jon Rauch 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Bergmann 21, Micah Bowie 9, Jesus Colome 7, Jon Rauch 3
Game Information
Attendance - 16017
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 50
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper