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Milwaukee (23-27)0000060006120
Washington (22-29) «100320001780

Brewers' ninth-inning wild pitch lifts Nationals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Knowing that Milwaukee's Guillermo Mota was having trouble commanding his changeup, and aware that the right-hander might be overthrowing his fastball, Elijah Dukes was prepared for a ball in the dirt.

Dukes scored on Mota's ninth-inning wild pitch, giving the Washington Nationals a 7-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

The decisive rally against Mota (1-3) started when Dukes drew a one-out walk on a 3-2 pitch, laying off off-speed pitches that have frustrated him much of the season. Pinch-hitter Dmitri Young singled to right, moving Dukes to third.

Mota's first pitch to Felipe Lopez bounced short of the plate and squirted off to the first-base side of foul territory, allowing Dukes to scamper home with the winning run.

Hitting just .105 in 38 at-bats since returning from a right hamstring injury that sidelined him for 34 games, Dukes adjusted when he saw Mota struggling with his control.

But just as he sprinted from first to third on Young's single and raced down the third-base line to score the game-winner, Dukes quickly bolted the clubhouse before talking to reporters. Nationals public relations staffers tracked him down on his cell phone and hurriedly set up a postgame conference call.

"I already knew that (Mota) would throw a lot of breaking balls. ... On my at-bat, he had a lot of balls that he was gripping the fastball too tight," Dukes said. "I said I was going to just be prepared to run if anything got away."

Dukes impressed his teammates by coaxing a walk from Mota.

"That was a professional at-bat. It was probably the best at-bat (Dukes) had this year," Young said.

Mota called the turn of events -- the second run Washington scored off a Brewers wild pitch -- "bad luck." But it was clear Milwaukee's game plan was to avoid challenging Dukes with fastballs.

"We were trying to go with a changeup away. I was sitting in the middle away a little bit," Brewers catcher Mike Rivera said. "(Mota) overthrew it, and I didn't have (a) chance. We thought that would be a good pitch to get a groundball and try to get out of the inning, and he overthrew it a little bit."

Jon Rauch (3-1) pitched a perfect ninth for the victory.

Aaron Boone homered for the Nationals, who squandered a 6-0 lead after five innings.

"It's easy to lose all your energy once you've lost a six-run lead," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "These guys, they don't go down. That's why I always stick with these guys,"

Corey Hart hit a two-run homer for the Brewers, who have lost eight of 11.

Washington went ahead 1-0 in the first when Cristian Guzman hit a one-out double, moved to third on Ryan Zimmerman's groundout and scored on Manny Parra's wild pitch.

A three-run fourth extended the Nationals' lead to 4-0. After singles by Zimmerman and Boone, Lastings Milledge dropped an RBI double down the left-field line and, one out later, Wily Mo Pena added a two-run double to left-center.

Boone lined Parra's 1-1 pitch into the left-field seats for a two-run homer in the fifth. His fourth home run scored Guzman, who had drawn a leadoff walk, and chased Parra from the game.

Parra went 4 1/3 innings, giving up six runs and seven hits while walking three and striking out three. He has won only one of his past eight starts.

The Brewers scored six times in the sixth -- four runs coming with two outs -- to tie the score. It was Milwaukee's highest-scoring inning this season.

Hart drove Tim Redding's pitch over the center-field wall in the sixth, scoring Prince Fielder, who led off with a single. Russell Branyan doubled and pinch-hitter Joe Dillon blooped a two-out RBI single over Guzman at shortstop, making it 6-3.

Redding departed after hitting Rickie Weeks in the left shoulder with a pitch, and Mike Cameron greeted Saul Rivera with a two-run double. Gabe Kapler's single drove in Cameron with the tying run.

"It was big hit after big hit after big hit. You're down six, and it shows that your team is still fighting and pushing," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.

Redding allowed five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out seven.

"The first five innings -- productive. The sixth inning -- absolutely horrible," Redding said. "There's no excuse to put us in a situation where we have a 6-0 lead and have to fight back in the bottom of the ninth."

Notes

  • Branyan started at third base a day after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Nashville. He went 2-for-3.
  • Zimmerman, who is bothered by a sore left shoulder he injured while sliding into second base a week ago, will not start Monday, Acta said.
  • Boone has hit safely in 12 of 13 starts, batting .426 (20-for-47) with three homers and nine RBI.
  • Hart has five home runs in his last eight games.
  • Weeks was twice hit by pitches and has been plunked a major league-leading nine times this year.
 
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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The Nationals celebrate a wild victory after Elijah Dukes scores on a ninth-inning wild pitch.  (AP)
The Nationals celebrate a wild victory after Elijah Dukes scores on a ninth-inning wild pitch. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

A. Boone
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Milwaukee

M. Cameron
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3100031 .207
Mike Cameron, CF5122002 .247
Gabe Kapler, LF5011002 .288
Prince Fielder, 1B5120012 .268
Corey Hart, RF5112041 .297
Russell Branyan, 3B3120101 .667
Mike Rivera, C4020002 .321
Craig Counsell, SS3000102 .230
Manny Parra, P2010013 .211
    Mark DiFelice, P0000000 .000
   a- Joe Dillon, PH1111000 .296
    Tim Dillard, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Braun, PH1000000 .283
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
Totals37612629  
a-singled for DiFelice in the 6th
b-grounded out for Dillard in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mike Cameron (6, Rivera), Russell Branyan (1, Redding)
HR - Corey Hart (6, Redding)
RBI - Mike Cameron 2 (17), Gabe Kapler (15), Corey Hart 2 (27), Joe Dillon (2)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Cameron 2 (8), Gabe Kapler (4), Joe Dillon (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Weeks-Counsell-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Manny Parra 4.1766331 5.11
Mark DiFelice 0.2000000 10.13
Tim Dillard 2000100 0.00
Guillermo Mota (L,1-3) 1.1111110 3.32
WP - Manny Parra (6), Guillermo Mota (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Manny Parra 86-54, Mark DiFelice 9-7, Tim Dillard 19-11, Guillermo Mota 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Manny Parra 7-2, Tim Dillard 3-2, Guillermo Mota 1-2
Batters Faced - Manny Parra 22, Mark DiFelice 2, Tim Dillard 6, Guillermo Mota 6
Washington Nationals
Felipe Lopez, 2B3000113 .250
Cristian Guzman, SS3210100 .295
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4110002 .257
Aaron Boone, 1B4222000 .324
Lastings Milledge, CF3111110 .243
Jesus Flores, C4000023 .327
Wily Mo Pena, LF4012000 .218
Elijah Dukes, RF2100201 .105
Tim Redding, P1010000 .188
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Langerhans, PH1000000 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
   b- Dmitri Young, PH1010000 .222
    Willie Harris, PR0000000 .170
Totals3078554  
a-flied out for Rivera in the 6th
b-singled for Rauch in the 9th
Batting
2B - Cristian Guzman (14, Parra), Lastings Milledge (13, Parra), Wily Mo Pena (4, Parra)
HR - Aaron Boone (4, Parra)
SH - Tim Redding (6)
RBI - Aaron Boone 2 (11), Lastings Milledge (19), Wily Mo Pena 2 (8)
SB - Lastings Milledge (5, 2nd base off Parra/Rivera), Willie Harris (1, 2nd base off Mota/Rivera)
CS - Felipe Lopez (3, 2nd base by Dillard/Rivera)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Zimmerman-F. Lopez-A. Boone, Zimmerman-F. Lopez-A. Boone
Washington Nationals
Tim Redding 5.21055171 3.59
Saul Rivera (BS,3) 0.1211000 4.25
Luis Ayala 2000110 4.71
Jon Rauch (W,3-1) 1000010 2.55
HBP - Weeks (by Tim Redding), Weeks (by Luis Ayala)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Redding 104-66, Saul Rivera 9-6, Luis Ayala 23-12, Jon Rauch 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Redding 2-7, Luis Ayala 4-0, Jon Rauch 1-1
Batters Faced - Tim Redding 28, Saul Rivera 3, Luis Ayala 7, Jon Rauch 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35567
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Paul Emmel