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Washington at Arizona

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Washington (48-61)001010110493
Arizona (41-68) «02023001x8131

LaRoche, Johnson fuel Diamondbacks past sloppy Nats

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Arizona kept baserunners off the paths at key moments, limiting the damage when Washington's big hitters connected. The Nationals kept giving the Diamondbacks extra runners with sloppy fielding.

Not tough to figure out where this one was headed.

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Barry Enright overcame two of Washington's four solo homers in six solid innings and the Diamondbacks scored four unearned runs off Washington's three errors in an 8-4 win over the Nationals Thursday night.

"That's what you have to do," said Arizona's Kelly Johnson, who extended his hitting streak to nine games. "When a team makes mistakes, you have to take advantage."

The free-swinging Diamondbacks had another double-digit strikeout night, whiffing 12 times to push their season total over 1,000 and closer to the all-time record. Arizona offset it with the times they did connect, rapping out 13 hits to earn a four-game split.

Johnson and Adam LaRoche had three hits each and Justin Upton drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks, who were 5 for 17 with runners in scoring position after going 2 for 18 the previous three games.

Enright (3-2) made it possible, giving up solo homers to Adam Kennedy in the third inning and Ryan Zimmerman in the fifth, but little else to earn the win after two tough no-decisions.

"He was very efficient," Diamondbacks interim manager Kirk Gibson said. "I know he gave up a couple of home runs, but the kid has shown he can battle. It may look like he's struggling sometimes, but he really competes."

The Nationals' pitching and defense never gave them much of a chance.

Zimmerman added another solo homer off Esmerling Vasquez to follow Roger Bernadina's the inning before, but Ross Detwiler (0-2) struggled in his third start since returning from hip surgery and the defense was abysmal at times.

The combination prevented Washington from winning its first road series since taking two of three from the Mets on May 10-12.

"I don't want to say the sky is falling," Nationals manager Jim Riggelman said. "We played bad defense for about six weeks straight from the middle of May to late June. Too many nights like that early on put us we are in the standings and we were making a lot of progress. We took a step backward tonight."

After the game, Washington placed outfielder and leadoff hitter Nyjer Morgan on the 15-day DL with an inflamed right hip. He felt a sharp pain while jogging before Wednesday's game. The Nationals will make a corresponding move in the next few days.

These two last-place teams played in front of the smallest crowd in Chase Field history Wednesday night (15,670) and were greeted with another third-full crowd that was second-smallest in team history.

The few who showed up got to see a sometimes-stinky game filled with four errors, a botched squeeze and a strikeout that scored a run.

Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn had an ugly error in the second inning that led to an unearned run and two more scored in the fourth after Zimmerman botched a grounder at third.

All three unearned runs came with Detwiler on the mound, but those weren't his only problem.

The left-hander was hit hard, giving up an RBI double to Bobby Crosby in the second inning, run-scoring singles to Stephen Drew and Enright -- after a failed squeeze attempt -- in the fourth and another to Upton in the fifth.

Detwiler allowed seven runs on nine hits in four innings.

"If I get another groundball after an error tonight we can get out of the inning," Detwiler said. "I was just giving up hits after errors which hurt us even more. I need to come back and throw better pitches especially after an error."

Arizona wasn't done taking advantage of Washington's mistakes, scoring two more odd runs in the inning off Collin Balester.

The first came on a single by Rusty Ryal that somehow trickled through the hole on the right side despite most of his bat breaking off and flying toward third.

Enright then swung on a 55-foot pitch for strike three, but the ball bounded past catcher Wil Nieves, who turned to throw home instead of first. Balester didn't cover and LaRoche scored, making it 7-2.

Enright was just right with his arm, though, preventing the Nationals from getting on base ahead of their home run hitters. He allowed two runs on seven hits after going winless his previous two starts despite giving up four total runs.

"You never want to give up home runs, obviously, but it's better when they're solo home runs," said Enright, who joined Micah Owings in 2007 as the only Arizona rookie pitchers to have a four-game hitting streak. "It was a struggle, my fastball command was off a little, but I tried to grind it out and give us a chance to win."

Notes

  • Arizona 3B Mark Reynolds was held out of the lineup despite tests revealing he didn't have a concussion from being struck on the helmet by a pitch on Tuesday. Reynolds tried to play Wednesday, but left in the seventh inning after feeling woozy.
  • Zimmerman has 21 homers.
  • All seven of Bernadina's homers have come on the road.
 
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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Adam LaRoche slides under Ivan Rodriguez's tag as the D-Backs double up the Nats.  (AP)
Adam LaRoche slides under Ivan Rodriguez's tag as the D-Backs double up the Nats. (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

A. LaRoche
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
 
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Roger Bernadina, CF4121000 .277
Adam Kennedy, 2B3111101 .262
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4222001 .301
Adam Dunn, 1B4010011 .277
Josh Willingham, LF3010101 .270
Michael Morse, RF4000002 .330
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .500
Ian Desmond, SS4020010 .260
Wil Nieves, C3000000 .177
   a- Ivan Rodriguez, PH1000010 .264
Ross Detwiler, P2000013 .000
    Collin Balester, P0000000 .000
   b- Alberto Gonzalez, PH1000000 .296
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .167
    Willie Harris, RF1000000 .184
Totals3449424  
a-struck out for Nieves in the 9th
b-grounded out for Balester in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ian Desmond (19, Enright)
HR - Roger Bernadina (7, Demel), Adam Kennedy (3, Enright), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (21, Enright, Vasquez)
RBI - Roger Bernadina (31), Adam Kennedy (21), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (61)
2-OUT RBI - Roger Bernadina (13), Ryan Zimmerman (21)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Desmond-Kennedy-Dunn
E - Adam Dunn (6, Misplayed grounder), Willie Harris (2, Misplayed grounder), Ryan Zimmerman (11, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ross Detwiler (L,0-2) 4974250 3.46
Collin Balester 2300150 5.40
Miguel Batista 1000010 4.19
Drew Storen 1110010 2.38
WP - Collin Balester (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Detwiler 80-50, Collin Balester 46-34, Miguel Batista 13-7, Drew Storen 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Detwiler 5-1, Collin Balester 1-1, Miguel Batista 1-1, Drew Storen 1-1
Batters Faced - Ross Detwiler 22, Collin Balester 11, Miguel Batista 3, Drew Storen 4
Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Chris Young, CF5110026 .264
Kelly Johnson, 2B4130101 .290
Justin Upton, RF4112023 .277
Adam LaRoche, 1B5230020 .267
Rusty Ryal, LF-3B4221012 .299
Bobby Crosby, 3B3011012 .224
   a- Gerardo Parra, PH-LF1000002 .247
Stephen Drew, SS3111112 .268
John Hester, C3000112 .200
Barry Enright, P3011012 .385
    Sam Demel, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Church, PH1000010 .184
    Esmerling Vasquez, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
Totals368136312  
a-lined out for Crosby in the 6th
b-struck out for Demel in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adam LaRoche (24, Detwiler), Bobby Crosby (9, Detwiler)
3B - Kelly Johnson (4, Detwiler)
SF - Justin Upton (4)
RBI - Justin Upton 2 (55), Rusty Ryal (9), Bobby Crosby (13), Stephen Drew (34), Barry Enright (4)
2-OUT RBI - Barry Enright (4)
CS - Kelly Johnson (6, 2nd base by Detwiler/Nieves), Bobby Crosby (3, Home by Detwiler/Nieves)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Crosby-Johnson-LaRoche, Johnson-Drew-LaRoche, Ryal-Johnson-LaRoche
E - Bobby Crosby (9, Misplayed grounder)
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Barry Enright (W,3-2) 6622232 2.81
Sam Demel 1111001 4.64
Esmerling Vasquez 1211001 4.73
Aaron Heilman 1000010 3.24
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Enright 98-61, Sam Demel 11-7, Esmerling Vasquez 17-9, Aaron Heilman 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Enright 9-5, Sam Demel 1-2, Esmerling Vasquez 1-1, Aaron Heilman 1-1
Batters Faced - Barry Enright 25, Sam Demel 4, Esmerling Vasquez 4, Aaron Heilman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 16638
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Rob Drake