Arizona at Washington

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Arizona (69-59)000000100160
Washington (62-64) «01030000x480

Nats hand first-place Diamondbacks sixth loss in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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Washington -- Nearly five months into his first season with the Washington Nationals, Jayson Werth believes he's finally getting into a groove at the plate.

Given the lofty expectations that came with his $126 million contract, the upswing is quite overdue.

Werth hit a three-run homer, Ross Detwiler took a four-hitter into the seventh inning and the Nationals beat Arizona 4-1 on Monday night to extend the Diamondbacks' losing streak to a season-high six games.

Henry Blanco hit a home run for the Diamondbacks, who have scored only seven runs in their past six games. Mired in its longest skid since a seven-game run in July 2010, Arizona now leads second-place San Francisco by only one game in the NL West.

Werth has had few shining moments this season after signing a much-publicized, oft-criticized seven-year deal in December. But he carried the Nationals in this one, scoring a second-inning run before delivering the decisive blow in the fourth against Joe Saunders (8-11).

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"Being here long enough, I've settled in and I'm getting comfortable and finding my zone," said Werth, whose 2-for-4 performance upped his batting average to .229. "Unfortunately, it's taken this long."

Washington manager Davey Johnson suspected earlier this month that Werth would soon begin showing the power and consistency that he displayed as a star with the Philadelphia Phillies.

"I said maybe three weeks ago that he was coming along. Every day, I see more of Jayson Werth," Johnson said. "It's about time to come out."

Werth has only 15 home runs and 48 RBI, but his opposite-field shot to right off Saunders, a left-hander, served as notice that perhaps Werth is ready to get on a roll at the plate. He came into the game batting .169 against lefties.

"For me, if my swing's good, I should be able to hit lefties good and righties good," he said. "If it's not good, I could pitch and probably get me out sometimes."

On this night, his swing was very good.

"I think the last week, 10 days, I've been locked in. It's been a long time coming," he said. "I knew where it was, but I didn't know how to get there. I finally feel like I got there."

Detwiler, meanwhile, was dominant against the punchless Diamondbacks. The left-hander came in with a career record of 3-12, but allowed only one runner past second base until Blanco hit a drive into the left-field seats with two outs in the seventh.

Blanco's home run, on a 3-2 pitch, was his only glaring mistake and was Arizona's only extra-base hit of the night.

"It's more of the same offensively. We just really struggled," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.

"We hit a lot of balls hard tonight. I think we're all right," leadoff hitter Ryan Roberts said. "I'm not thinking that we're in a drought. It's just not falling in right now. It will turn back around."

Detwiler (2-3) gave up one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three to break a three-game losing streak.

"Give the kid credit. He threw a good game and we were unable to put anything together," Gibson said.

Drew Storen, the third Washington reliever, worked the ninth to secure his 34th save and seal the Nationals' fifth victory in seven games.

Washington went up 1-0 in the second inning when Werth doubled and scored on a single by Jonny Gomes.

In the fourth, Ryan Zimmerman led off with an infield hit and Michael Morse walked before Werth connected for the first time since Aug. 10. The drive barely cleared the wall to the left of the bullpen area.

"It's just one of those things," Werth said. "My power is to right field when I'm right."

Saunders allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. He's 0-3 in four starts in August.

Notes

  • Zimmerman has reached base safely in 28 consecutive games, batting .407 during that span. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-10) will pitch for Washington on Tuesday night.
  • Arizona has scheduled RHP Ian Kennedy (15-4), who had a seven-game winning streak snapped in his last start -- a 4-1 loss to Philadelphia on Aug. 18. Zimmermann, two years removed from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled for one more start after this one before being shut down.
  • Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg allowed one earned run and two hits in three innings, striking out six, in a rehabilitation assignment with Class A Hagerstown against Hickory.
  • Arizona cleanup hitter Chris Young went 0 for 3 and is 1 for 30 in his past nine games.
 
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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Ross Detwiler holds the struggling Diamondbacks to one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.  (AP)
Ross Detwiler holds the struggling Diamondbacks to one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

H. Blanco
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Washington

J. Werth
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ryan Roberts, 3B3010102 .259
Kelly Johnson, 2B4000005 .209
Justin Upton, RF4010001 .298
Chris Young, CF3000111 .232
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B4000013 .233
Cody Ransom, SS4000010 .152
Collin Cowgill, LF4000010 .152
Henry Blanco, C4121010 .241
Joe Saunders, P2010001 .217
   a- Sean Burroughs, PH1010000 .250
    Micah Owings, P0000000 .222
    Brad Ziegler, P0000000 .000
Totals3316125  
a-singled for Saunders in the 7th
Batting
HR - Henry Blanco (6, Detwiler)
RBI - Henry Blanco (9)
2-OUT RBI - Henry Blanco (3)
SB - Ryan Roberts (15, 2nd base off Detwiler/Ramos)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Roberts-Johnson-Goldschmidt, Johnson-Ransom-Goldschmidt
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Saunders (L,8-11) 6644321 3.98
Micah Owings 1100010 2.60
Brad Ziegler 1100010 2.47
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 90-53, Micah Owings 22-12, Brad Ziegler 11-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 9-5, Brad Ziegler 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 25, Micah Owings 4, Brad Ziegler 4
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Desmond, SS4010000 .230
Brian Bixler, CF-LF4010011 .194
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4110011 .311
Michael Morse, 1B3110100 .319
Jayson Werth, RF4223000 .229
Danny Espinosa, 2B2000201 .230
Jonny Gomes, LF3011011 .210
    Henry Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Mattheus, P0000000 .000
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
Wilson Ramos, C3010011 .248
Ross Detwiler, P2000001 .100
    Rick Ankiel, CF1000000 .242
Totals3048434  
Batting
2B - Jayson Werth (24, Saunders)
HR - Jayson Werth (15, Saunders)
RBI - Jayson Werth 3 (48), Jonny Gomes (40)
Team LOB - 5
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ross Detwiler (W,2-3) 6.2611131 2.61
Henry Rodriguez (H,7) 0.1000100 4.34
Ryan Mattheus (H,6) 1000000 2.48
Drew Storen (S,34) 1000020 2.77
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Detwiler 92-57, Henry Rodriguez 10-4, Ryan Mattheus 9-5, Drew Storen 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Detwiler 6-11, Henry Rodriguez 1-0, Ryan Mattheus 2-1
Batters Faced - Ross Detwiler 27, Henry Rodriguez 2, Ryan Mattheus 3, Drew Storen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19377
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Tim McClelland