Game #71 Recap: Nats win 6-2 on 11th inning Grand Slam

Ian
Desmond earned his first career Grand Slam in the eleventh inning to win the game
6-2 over the Phillies, stopping the sweep. Gio Gonzalez pitched a stellar seven
innings with 11 strike outs, 2 walks, and allowed only 2 hits. However, those
two hits, which came in the first inning, became the only two runs scored—a lead-off
single from Ben Revere quickly followed by Michael Young’s homer which batted
them both in.

It wasn’t
until the seventh inning that the Nationals retaliated with their own run. Phillies’
starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick struck out 6, walked 2 and allowed only 2 hits, a
single from Adam LaRoche in the second where he was left stranded and an RBI
single from Werth who batted in Zimmerman’s walk in the seventh. Desmond struck
out to end the inning.

Tyler
Clippard came in in the eighth to relieve Gonzalez and went 1-2-3 that inning with
two fly balls to the outfield and a strike out for former National Laynce Nix
who was pinch hitting.

Phillies
were still up 2-1 in the ninth as Jonathan Papelbon came in to “close”. Denard
Span single and LaRoche walked before Werth hit another RBI single that brought
in Span and tied the game. Although Papelbon’s save was blown, the Nationals winning
rally would then be postponed for another inning as Desmond strikes out ending the
ninth and leaving LaRoche and Werth on base. Tied 2-2

With
two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Clippard walked Jimmy Rollins which brought
Davey out on the field. Pitching change: enter Ian Krol, Krol walked Ryan
Howard, pushing Rollins into scoring position, but thankfully Dominic brown hit
a blooper to Ian Desmond ending the half and pushing the game into extra
innings.

The
bottom of the order is up for the tenth and Nationals can’t seem to cash in on
Kurt Suzuki’s one-out double, even when he advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Rookie pinch hitter Jeff Kobernus grounded out to the second baseman and Denard
Span popped out on a foul ball.

Drew
Storen arrived on the mound in the tenth in proper form. His beautiful,
ever-improving change-up was the third swinging strike for both John Mayberry and
Freddy Galvis. Carlos Ruiz singled next, but to no avail as pinch hitter
Michael Martinez flied out to Werth ending the inning.

 Still
tied at the top of the eleventh, Michael Stutes came in to pitch. Ryan
Zimmerman got the inning rolling with a one-out double. LaRoche was
intentionally walked followed by Werth’s unintentional walk, all of which
loaded the bases, still with only one out. Ian Desmond came up to the plate, he
was 0 for 4 with 3 stike outs and a ground out until this at bat. With two balls
and two strikes, Desmond hit an off-speed pitch way out to left centerfield.
Going, going, it went! “See you later!” Nationals led 6-2 on a grand slam from
a hitter who also pulled a hat trick in the same night.

In
the bottom of the eleventh Rafael Soriano closed. Soriano allowed only one hit
(from Michael Young). After two batters flied out, Soriano struck out Phillies’
clean-up man Ryan Howard ending the game.

This
was a tremendous win for the Nationals as they dipped below .500 earlier this
week. Although still in second place in the NL East division, the Nats are 7
games behind the Atlanta Braves and only one game ahead of the Phillies. They
return from their road trip Thursday night to play the Rockies at Nats Park,
7:05pm.

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