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Suspended Peralta loses to Nationals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals got the last word against Joel Peralta in the pine tar flap.

The suspended Tampa Bay reliever served up a tiebreaking, two-run double to Danny Espinosa in the sixth inning Thursday night, sending the Nationals over the Rays 5-2.

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Earlier in the day, Peralta learned that he had been penalized by Major League Baseball for eight games after being caught with pine tar in his glove Tuesday night. Peralta is appealing the decision and can keep playing until a final decision is reached.

"I'm glad we're past all this other stuff. That wears me out more than anything," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.

Johnson talked endlessly on Wednesday about the matter and traded jabs with his Tampa Bay counterpart, Joe Maddon. After this win, Johnson was glad to talk about Espinosa.

The switch-hitting Espinosa, who was batting a paltry .133 with runners in scoring position and just .188 left-handed, delivered.

"He's a very dangerous hitter. He seems to shine in RBI situations," Johnson said.

Maddon was disappointed that the Rays, who are in third place in the AL East, lost two of three in Washington.

"We didn't get swept. We won one of the three, and that's a good thing. When you play a three-game series you obviously want to win the series, but the last thing you want is to get swept, and we did not get swept," Maddon said.

As a rookie, Espinosa hit 21 home runs and had 66 RBI. This season hasn't gone as well. He has just six home runs and 21 RBI.

He has a huge defender in his manager.

"Sometimes, it just takes a little time -- patience. You know he has the talent, the ability. You just try and not put too pressure on him," Johnson said.

Espinosa appreciates Johnson's support.

"It's been huge to have the manager have my back," Espinosa said.

Peralta (0-3) entered a game that was tied at 2 in the sixth. He got the first two outs of the inning before Jesus Flores doubled, pinch hitter Adam LaRoche was walked intentionally and Espinosa doubled.

Gio Gonzalez (9-3) pitched six innings on a steamy night when the gametime temperature was 97 degrees. He allowed two runs and seven hits, walking two and striking out four.

Gonzalez was displeased that he was hooked with the score tied.

"I was going to hook Gio after the sixth and he was working a big anger on me," Johnson said.

Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the seventh on three walks issued by Craig Stammen and Michael Gonzalez. Ryan Mattheus struck out pinch-hitter Will Rhymes to end the inning.

Sean Burnett worked the eighth and Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his 11th save.

Roger Bernadina's RBI double in the seventh increased Washington's lead to 5-2.

Tampa Bay scored in the second when Hideki Matsui walked and Jose Lobaton, Drew Sutton and Desmond Jennings singled.

The Nationals scored twice in the third off Matt Moore. Espinosa and Bryce Harper led off with walks, then pulled off a double steal. Michael Morse had a sacrifice fly and Desmond had an RBI single.

The Rays made it 2-all in the sixth on Ben Zobrist's leadoff double and a one-out single by Sean Rodriguez.

Moore worked five innings. He allowed two runs and three hits, walking four and striking out six.

Notes

  • Rays OF Matt Joyce missed his second straight game with a stiff back.
  • Tampa Bay INF Jeff Keppinger (broken toe) will rejoin the team in Philadelphia on Friday. He's been on the disabled list since May 21.
  • Nationals LHP Ross Detwiler will return to the starting rotation on Sunday against Baltimore. Detwiler and Chien-Ming Wang swapped roles. Wang will go to the bullpen. Detwiler had been starting earlier this season and said he should have sufficient endurance to start.
  • Washington RHP Drew Storen said he'll throw live batting practice on Friday for the first time since elbow surgery in April.
  • The Nationals have scheduled RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-5, 2.92) to face the Orioles' RHP Jason Hammel (7-2, 2.87) on Friday night.
  • The Rays play in Philadelphia on Friday. RHP James Shields (7-4, 3.72) faces LHP Cliff Lee (0-3, 3.48).
 
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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Joel Peralta gives up a two-run double to Danny Espinosa in the sixth inning when the Nationals break the tie. (Getty Images)
Joel Peralta gives up a two-run double to Danny Espinosa in the sixth inning when the Nationals break the tie. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

D. Espinosa
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

D. Jennings
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, LF4011100 .243
Carlos Pena, 1B4000114 .203
B.J. Upton, CF5000012 .267
Ben Zobrist, 2B3110101 .230
Hideki Matsui, RF2100201 .158
Sean Rodriguez, SS-3B3011011 .215
   a- Will Rhymes, PH-3B1000013 .226
Jose Lobaton, C4020011 .265
Drew Sutton, 3B3020001 .271
    Joel Peralta, P0000000 .000
    Wade Davis, P00000001.000
   b- Rich Thompson, PH1000000 .059
    J.P. Howell, P0000000 .000
Matt Moore, P2000014 .000
   c- Elliot Johnson, PH-SS2000012 .270
Totals3427257  
a-struck out for S. Rodriguez in the 7th
b-grounded out for Davis in the 8th
c-struck out for Moore in the 6th
Batting
2B - Ben Zobrist (13, G. Gonzalez), Jose Lobaton (5, G. Gonzalez)
RBI - Desmond Jennings (19), Sean Rodriguez (20)
2-OUT RBI - Desmond Jennings (11)
SB - Desmond Jennings (10, 2nd base off Stammen/Flores)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Desmond Jennings 1
E - Drew Sutton (3, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Moore 5322460 4.13
Joel Peralta (L,0-3) 1222100 4.20
Wade Davis 1211110 2.25
J.P. Howell 1000010 5.57
IBB - LaRoche by Joel Peralta
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Moore 93-58, Joel Peralta 27-16, Wade Davis 18-8, J.P. Howell 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Moore 4-6, Joel Peralta 1-2, J.P. Howell 2-0
Batters Faced - Matt Moore 23, Joel Peralta 6, Wade Davis 5, J.P. Howell 3
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Danny Espinosa, 2B4122110 .232
Bryce Harper, CF-RF3100102 .287
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4110032 .226
Michael Morse, RF-LF3001011 .209
Ian Desmond, SS4011021 .265
Tyler Moore, 1B1000200 .297
    Craig Stammen, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Mattheus, P0000000 .000
   a- Rick Ankiel, PH-CF0000100 .222
Xavier Nady, LF2010002 .150
   b- Roger Bernadina, PH-LF2011000 .240
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
Jesus Flores, C4110000 .237
Gio Gonzalez, P2000013 .087
   c- Adam LaRoche, PH-1B1100100 .254
Totals3057568  
a-walked for Mattheus in the 7th
b-grounded out for Nady in the 6th
c-was walked intentionally for G. Gonzalez in the 6th
Batting
2B - Danny Espinosa 2 (16, Moore, Peralta), Roger Bernadina (9, Davis), Jesus Flores (6, Peralta)
SF - Michael Morse (2)
RBI - Danny Espinosa 2 (21), Michael Morse (7), Ian Desmond (36), Roger Bernadina (13)
2-OUT RBI - Danny Espinosa 2 (12), Ian Desmond (17), Roger Bernadina (7)
SB - Danny Espinosa (11, 3rd base off Moore/Lobaton), Bryce Harper (5, 2nd base off Moore/Lobaton), Ryan Zimmerman (3, 2nd base off Davis/Lobaton)
Team LOB - 8
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Gio Gonzalez (W,9-3) 6722240 2.55
Craig Stammen (H,5) 0.2000200 1.50
Mike Gonzalez0000100 0.00
Ryan Mattheus (H,7) 0.1000010 2.08
Sean Burnett (H,13) 1000010 1.08
Tyler Clippard (S,11) 1000010 2.01
WP - Gio Gonzalez (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 98-58, Craig Stammen 20-10, Mike Gonzalez 7-3, Ryan Mattheus 6-3, Sean Burnett 9-7, Tyler Clippard 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 7-7, Sean Burnett 2-0
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 27, Craig Stammen 4, Mike Gonzalez 1, Ryan Mattheus 1, Sean Burnett 3, Tyler Clippard 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29551
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 96
Umpires - Home - Cory Blaser, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Jeff Nelson