Thursday, July 30, 2015

Werth, Harper stop funks

WASHINGTON—Jayson Werth entered Washington’s eighth game of the season with zero homers and a grand total of one RBI.
Bryce Harper? He also came into yesterday without a long ball and hadn’t driven in a run.

He was hitting .160, had nearly three times as many strikeouts as hits, and was dropped to seventh in the batting order.
They both got going in a hurry.
Werth delivered a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning off Carlos Marmol after Harper’s upper-deck, three-run homer started a comeback from an early deficit as the Nationals topped the Miami Marlins 10-7 last night.
“Crazy game. Back and forth,” said Werth, who violently tossed his bat after making contact on his homer.
“One of those games where you play that long, you want to win.”
Helped by 3 1/3 innings from Craig Stammen after Jordan Zimmermann produced his shortest start in the majors, Washington overcame deficits of 5-0 and 7-6.
Werth’s shot off Marmol (0-1) came with one out, after the reliever allowed a single, hit a batter, then intentionally walked Anthony Rendon to load the bases.
“Knowing Jayson, if the pitcher looks at him wrong, he’ll take that personally,” Stammen said.
“So them blatantly walking to get to him—typically they don’t walk to get to your three-hole hitter, especially a veteran guy that’s proven he can get big hits.
“But they chose to, and it worked out in our favour this time,” he noted.
“We were trying to win the ballgame there,” said Marlins’ manager Mike Redmond.
“We were trying to get a ground ball,” hoping Werth might hit into a double play to end the inning.
But Werth helped make a winner of Tyler Clippard (1-1), who yielded Garrett Jones’ tie-breaking RBI double in the top of the eighth after walking a pair of batters.
Rafael Soriano, Washington’s sixth pitcher, worked the ninth for his second save.
Jones’ hit put Miami ahead 7-6, but Giancarlo Stanton was thrown out at the plate on Rendon’s relay of Werth’s throw from right on the play.
Werth then came through with his fourth career grand slam—and first with the Nationals.
He drove an 0-1 pitch into the visitor’s bullpen in left-centre, then acknowledged the fans’ cheering with a curtain call.
“I was trying to go in and get a ground ball. That’s what I’m trying to do,” Marmol said.
“The ball stayed a little in the middle and he hit it good.”
Werth was responsible for five RBIs yesterday, including on a ground-out in the fifth after Rendon’s triple to pull the hosts within 5-4.
Elsewhere in the NL, Cincinnati blanked St. Louis 4-0, Milwaukee beat Philadelphia 9-4, Atlanta edged New York 4-3, Pittsburgh topped Chicago 7-6, and San Francisco downed Arizona 7-3.
In interleague play, the Chicago White Sox bombed Colorado 15-3, Detroit topped the L.A. Dodgers 7-6, and Cleveland and San Diego split a double-header.

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