Diamondbacks blow 2 leads before winning 7-5 in 11

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WASHINGTON (AP)—Third baseman Mark Reynolds made two errors in the bottom of the ninth, when the Arizona Diamondbacks blew a two-run lead.

The craziness was only just beginning.

Reynolds doubled in the 10th to help his team build a three-run lead, and even that wasn’t enough. It wasn’t until the 11th inning that Arizona went ahead and stayed there, scoring twice for a wild 7-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

“I tried to mess it up for us,” said Reynolds, who misplayed two two-hoppers during the Nationals’ rally that tied the game 2-2 after nine. “They picked me up tonight. It was just one of those days. Baseball—that’s the way it goes.”

Well, it doesn’t go like this often.

The Diamondbacks led 2-0 after 8 1/2 innings and 5-2 after 9 1/2 . Both times the Nationals had the winning run in scoring position with less than two outs but couldn’t finish off the game.

“We’ve had some games that have gone back and forth some,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said, “but not as dramatically as that.”

Stephen Drew hit a one-out RBI double and Chad Tracy added a run-scoring single with two outs—both off Luis Ayala (1-5)—for the game’s final runs as the seesawing Diamondbacks (46-46) again improved their record to .500. Chad Qualls (2-6) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the victory.

The Nationals lost for the seventh time in eight games, wasting another fine start by Jason Bergmann. He allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings and has received a meager eight runs of support in his last 11 starts.

“If our offense could come back like that every day, we’re looking at a really exciting ball club,” Bergmann said. “We thought we were going to pull that one out.”

Diamondbacks All-Star starter Dan Haren struck out a season-high nine, walked two, and allowed just three hits. He departed after two batters reached base to open the ninth, leaving him three outs short of his first career shutout.

Brandon Lyon entered and allowed a single to load the bases with no outs. Austin Kearns then hit a hard grounder to third, but Reynolds backed up on the ball and let it get past him into left field. Two runs scored to tie the game.

Two outs later, Reynolds misplayed another grounder to load the bases, but it turned out not to cost the Diamondbacks the victory because Lyon was able to retire rookie Roger Bernadina on a groundout to second, sending the game to extra innings.

“People are going to forget that I pitched today,” Haren said. “And people are going to forget that Lyon pitched today, but he did a tremendous job.”

With the score tied 2-2 after nine, Reynolds helped compensate for his gaffes when he doubled off the left-field wall, one of four consecutive two-out hits off Jon Rauch that made it 5-2.

Tony Pena entered in the bottom of the 10th and couldn’t hold the lead. Washington cleanup hitter Kearns—batting .198 entering the game—got the big hit, a two-run double off the left-field wall.

But the Nationals couldn’t finish the job. With runners on first and third and one out, Qualls got Jesus Flores to hit a grounder to Reynolds, who cleanly fielded the ball this time and threw to the catcher for the putout. Wily Mo Pena then grounded out to send the game to the 11th, when the Diamondbacks managed to put together one last rally.

“It just shows a lot about the team,” Tracy said. “We just kept grinding and grinding, and there were some situations where it got a little hairy.”


Had the Nationals not scored in the ninth, the Diamondbacks and Nationals would have become the first teams to play each other in five straight shutout games in 28 years, according to Stats LLC. The Chicago White Sox and Oakland A’s accomplished the unusual feat in 1980. … More runs were scored in the last 2 1/2 innings (10) than in the rest of the three-game series combined (9).

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