And the Arizona Diamondbacks squandered one opportunity after another.
With the Nationals leading 1-0 and the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning, Arizona’s Josh Whitesell(notes) lined what looked like a base hit just in front of Kearns. Felipe Lopez(notes), the runner at third, had to hold close to the base in case the ball was caught, and Kearns rifled a throw home.
Flores stretched out like a first baseman to make the grab for the force out.
“That was the play of the game, actually,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “It was just a tremendous play.”
Kearns said he’s tried the play before, but this was the first time he’d pulled it off. He gave credit to Flores.
“He made the play,” Kearns said. “I tried to get my feet under me and make a good throw. It was a little off-line and he stretched out and made the play.”
The play came moments after Flores was struck in the right shoulder by a foul ball. He sustained a bruise that will keep him out of Sunday’s game, Acta said. Flores stayed in the game, but was replaced in the ninth inning.
The Nationals have won three straight for the first time this season, all on the road, and clinched their first road series since early August. Overall, Washington, which started the season 1-10, has won five of its past six.
Lannan (2-3) blanked the Diamondbacks through six innings, allowing three hits but walking six. Six relievers finished off the victory.
After stranding 14 runners in the first eight innings, the Diamondbacks scored on Miguel Montero’s(notes) two-out, pinch-hit RBI double off Kip Wells(notes) in the ninth. With runners at second and third, lefty Joel Hanrahan(notes)—who had blown three saves in five tries earlier in the year—came on to strike out pinch-hitter Chad Tracy(notes) to earn his third save in six attempts.
Arizona lost its third straight one-run game to fall to 0-2 under new manager A.J. Hinch, who replaced the fired Bob Melvin. The Diamondbacks have lost six of seven overall.
Arizona left 16 on base, squandering scoring threats in the second, third, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
“We had opportunities,” Hinch said. “I think that was the statement of the night. Sixteen guys left on base, a lot of positives coming out of that, with the exception of being unable to push them across.”
Davis (2-5) took the loss despite allowing just one run on four hits in six innings.
“I’m not the only one here,” Davis said. “There are 24 other guys in here that are frustrated at the same time, but tomorrow’s a new day. You’ve got to go back out there tomorrow and not think about what happened today.”
The Diamondbacks had runners at first and third with one out in the second, the bases loaded with one out in the third and runners at second and third with one out in the sixth.
Then they had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh and runners at second and third with one out in the eighth.
Arizona had leadoff runners on base five times. … Diamondbacks 3B Mark Reynolds(notes) and the Washington 1B Dunn each committed two errors. … Lopez failed to run out a ground ball in the fifth. Dunn dropped the throw at first, and Lopez would have been safe had he kept running.
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