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Washington at Arizona

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Washington (54-64) «000010042790
Arizona (67-52)2030000106110

Flores ties it, Lopez wins it as Nationals rally in Phoenix

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Even after opening the season 1-8, the Washington Nationals kept playing hard.

So it came as no surprise that they refused to quit after spotting NL West-leading Arizona a five-run lead in the third inning.

Jesus Flores hit a tying homer in the ninth and Felipe Lopez drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as the Nationals rallied to beat the Diamondbacks 7-6 on Sunday afternoon.

"It's been normal for us," manager Manny Acta said. "These guys don't give up. They give me everything they've got every day, and sometimes we do this kind of thing."

Washington defeated Arizona for the first time in seven games this year.

The Nationals raided Arizona's normally reliable bullpen with four runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth. Flores' homer came one inning after Ryan Church tied the game at 5-5 with a two-run shot.

"We stole a game," Church said. "It shows we don't give up until the last out."

Church said he was looking for left-hander Doug Slaten to throw a fastball on a 3-1 count.

"And I got it," said Church, who came in hitting .222 against lefties.

Said Slaten, "Stuff like that happens."

The Diamondbacks responded quickly to Church's homer. Rookie Justin Upton led off the eighth with a single off Jon Rauch (8-2) and took third on Mark Reynolds' single. One out later, Stephen Drew hit a sacrifice fly to right field to put Arizona ahead 6-5.

Reynolds had three hits, including a homer, and drove in three runs, and Eric Byrnes also homered for Arizona.

All-Star closer Jose Valverde (1-4) couldn't make the lead stand up, blowing his sixth save in 41 chances.

Flores led off the ninth. When Valverde jumped ahead 0-2, Flores guessed that Valverde would throw him a split-finger fastball. Flores guessed right and hit the pitch 337 feet inside the left-field foul pole to tie the game at 6-all.

"I was trying to protect the zone," Flores said. "I made good contact."

Robert Fick followed with a triple to center and scored on Lopez's sacrifice fly to left.

Rauch pitched one inning of relief to earn the win, allowing one run on two hits with a strikeout.

Chad Cordero pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 34 chances.

It was a disheartening loss for the Diamondbacks, who have been the hottest team in the league since the All-Star break. Arizona lost for only the fourth time in 21 games and saw its lead over San Diego shrink to three games.

"We've seen this a little bit, where we've had a little bit of trouble holding leads, but we've always responded," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

Arizona's bullpen cost starter Micah Owings a chance for his first victory since June 20, a span of 10 starts.

"I'm not even thinking about that," Owings said of his long drought. "I'm going to keep focusing on what I can do to help the team."

Owings retired the first 14 men he faced before walking Ronnie Belliard on a 3-2 count in the fifth. Owings then hit Tony Batista before giving up a two-out RBI single to Flores.

Owings allowed one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out eight, matching a season high.

Owings outpitched Nationals starter Mike Bacsik, who allowed five runs and eight hits in four innings, walking one and striking out one. After the game, the Nationals announced that Bacsik would move to the bullpen to make room in the rotation for Shawn Hill, who is expected to be activated from the disabled list in time to start Tuesday night against Philadelphia.

"I threw the ball pretty bad," Bacsik said. "That's the worst I've thrown the ball since I've been here. They took advantage of it."

Notes

  • Washington optioned LHP Billy Traber to Triple-A Columbus after the game. Hill is expected to be activated before Tuesday night's game against the Phillies.
  • Bacsik made his first start since allowing Barry Bonds' 756th career home run Tuesday night in San Francisco. Bacsik was the 446th different pitcher to give up a homer to Bonds.
  • Drew's double in the third inning snapped an 0-for-18 slump.
  • Washington went 1-6 against Arizona this year, but the Nationals still hold a 38-32 advantage overall, dating to their days in Montreal.
 
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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Jesus Flores rounds the bases after tying the game with a solo shot in the ninth off Jose Valverde.  (AP)
Jesus Flores rounds the bases after tying the game with a solo shot in the ninth off Jose Valverde. (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

M. Reynolds
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Washington

J. Flores
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Washington Nationals
Felipe Lopez, SS2101210 .251
Nook Logan, CF4000021 .275
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5111031 .266
Austin Kearns, RF4111001 .251
Ryan Church, LF4122020 .262
Ronnie Belliard, 2B3100111 .286
Tony Batista, 1B3010000 .265
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Jesus Flores, C4132000 .241
Mike Bacsik Jr., P1000000 .130
   a- Ryan Langerhans, PH1000012 .155
    Chris Schroder, P0000000 .000
   b- D'Angelo Jimenez, PH0000000 .174
   c- Brian Schneider, PH1000001 .231
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
    Robert Fick, 1B1110000 .200
Totals33797310  
a-struck out for Bacsik in the 5th
b-announced for Schroder in the 7th
c-grounded into a double play for Jimenez in the 7th
Batting
3B - Ryan Zimmerman (4, Pena), Robert Fick (1, Valverde)
HR - Ryan Church (9, Slaten), Jesus Flores (3, Valverde)
SF - Felipe Lopez (4)
SH - Nook Logan (5)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (48), Ryan Zimmerman (64), Austin Kearns (48), Ryan Church 2 (47), Jesus Flores 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Jesus Flores (9)
Team LOB - 5
Washington Nationals
Mike Bacsik Jr. 4855112 4.76
Chris Schroder 2000020 1.30
Saul Rivera 1100000 3.73
Jon Rauch (W,8-2) 1211010 3.64
Chad Cordero (S,26) 1000110 2.48
WP - Mike Bacsik Jr. (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Bacsik Jr. 66-43, Chris Schroder 17-12, Saul Rivera 16-10, Jon Rauch 20-12, Chad Cordero 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Bacsik Jr. 5-6, Saul Rivera 1-2, Chad Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Mike Bacsik Jr. 21, Chris Schroder 6, Saul Rivera 4, Jon Rauch 5, Chad Cordero 4
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF5000000 .229
Orlando Hudson, 2B5110010 .294
Eric Byrnes, LF4121101 .300
Conor Jackson, 1B4221001 .275
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
   a- Chad Tracy, PH1000001 .261
Justin Upton, RF3110111 .294
Mark Reynolds, 3B4133000 .268
Chris Snyder, C4010014 .249
Stephen Drew, SS3011000 .232
Micah Owings, P3000022 .205
    Tony Pena, P0000000 .250
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
    Tony Clark, 1B1000001 .234
Totals37611625  
a-flied out for Valverde in the 9th
Batting
2B - Eric Byrnes (22, Rivera), Stephen Drew (22, Bacsik)
HR - Eric Byrnes (18, Bacsik), Mark Reynolds (9, Bacsik)
SF - Stephen Drew (6)
RBI - Eric Byrnes (67), Conor Jackson (41), Mark Reynolds 3 (40), Stephen Drew (39)
2-OUT RBI - Conor Jackson (18), Mark Reynolds 3 (22)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Hudson-Drew-Jackson
Arizona Diamondbacks
Micah Owings 6.1411280 4.76
Tony Pena (H,23) 1233110 2.41
Doug Slaten (BS,1)0111001 2.45
Brandon Lyon 0.2000000 2.82
Jose Valverde (BS,6; L,1-4) 1222011 2.98
HBP - Batista (by Micah Owings)
Pitches-Strikes - Micah Owings 101-71, Tony Pena 14-10, Doug Slaten 5-2, Brandon Lyon 7-4, Jose Valverde 23-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Micah Owings 6-5, Tony Pena 1-0, Brandon Lyon 2-0
Batters Faced - Micah Owings 26, Tony Pena 5, Doug Slaten 1, Brandon Lyon 2, Jose Valverde 5
Game Information
Attendance - 29839
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Dale Scott