Friday, October 24, 2014

Nats earn wild win

LOS ANGELES—Adam LaRoche didn’t start yesterday for the Washington Nationals, but he sure did finish.
LaRoche pinch-hit in the ninth inning and ended up with five RBIs in Washington’s wild 8-5, 14-inning win over the L.A. Dodgers.

He hit a tying homer, a go-ahead two-run single in the 12th, and added a run-scoring grounder in the 14th that sent the Nationals to a hard-fought victory.
LaRoche was scheduled to sit out yesterday because of a strained lower back, but entered in the ninth and made an immediate impact with a homer to tie it 2-2.
“We had to use Adam even though we didn’t want to,” said Nationals’ manager Matt Williams.
“He was huge for us, especially hitting that homer in the ninth.”
Asdrubal Cabrera added a two-run shot in the final inning for the Nationals, who withstood two late L.A. rallies in a game that lasted five hours, 34 minutes—the longest at Dodger Stadium this season.
Washington won two of three in the series—a potential playoff preview between NL division leaders.
LaRoche gave the Nationals the lead for good with a fielder’s choice grounder in the 14th after an error by shortstop Justin Turner.
Ian Desmond scored on the play while LaRoche beat the relay to first to avoid a potential inning-ending double play.
LaRoche also was hit by a pitch on the left elbow in the 11th, but fought through the pain and stayed in.
He wasn’t made available to the media after the game because he was receiving so much medical treatment, according to team staff.
“Getting hit in the elbow there makes it really difficult for him to swing the bat,” Williams noted.
“When we loaded the bases in the 12th, he didn’t know if he could swing.
“We were thinking about putting down a bunt, but he just stayed on the ball and hit a two-run single.”
Cabrera added his two-run homer in the 14th and Blake Treinen (2-3) finally made the lead stand up.
The Dodgers rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the ninth and then a 5-3 hole in the 13th on Carl Crawford’s homer, but ultimately came up short.
Los Angeles led 2-0 going into the ninth, when Washington tagged closer Kenley Jansen for four hits and three runs, including LaRoche’s tying homer and Denard Span’s go-ahead single with two outs.
A defensive mistake in the bottom half forced extra innings.
With two outs and a runner on first, Nationals’ closer Rafael Soriano got Turner to hit a fly to right for what appeared to be the third out.
Instead, right-fielder Jayson Werth dropped the ball in the right-field corner for an error and a surprised Andre Ethier raced home from first to tie it at 3-3.
That’s how it stayed until the 12th. A walk by Anthony Rendon and singles by Werth and Bryce Harper loaded the bases with one out.
LaRoche then lined a single into left field to put the Nationals back on top.
Again, the Dodgers rallied to tie it.
Tyler Clippard quickly retired the first two batters in the bottom half, but Juan Uribe singled and Crawford followed with a home run to left-centre—whipping the remaining fans at Dodger Stadium into a frenzy.
“I think this was a good game for us,” said Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly.
“The positive side of this is that the effort and determination and perseverance from our guys is going to get us where we want to go,” he noted.
“Our guys fought all day.”
Elsewhere in the NL, Atlanta beat Philadelphia 7-4, St. Louis nipped Pittsburgh 1-0, Colorado dumped San Francisco 9-2, New York edged Miami 4-3, Chicago downed Milwaukee 6-2, and Arizona upended San Diego 6-1
Baltimore blanked Cincinnati 6-0 in interleague play.

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