Nats win another close oneJul 6, 2011 - 4:06 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Chalk up another tight victory for the Nationals.
Washington took advantage of a throwing error and scored three times in the opening inning, and held off the Chicago Cubs, 3-2. Each of Washington's last nine victories has come by either one run or in extra innings.
Ross Detwiler pitched into the sixth inning to get the win in his first appearance of the season. Detwiler (1-0) allowed four hits and a pair of runs over 5 1/3 frames. Drew Storen worked around a one-out single to Marlon Byrd in the ninth and recorded his 21st save.
"It's a winning atmosphere here now," Detwiler said. "A couple of year ago, I don't think people came here not to win, but it really wasn't in the atmosphere. There was a lot of losing going on, but you can tell it's been a complete turnaround here."
The Nationals, winners of the first two games of this series, have gone 12-3 in games decided by the minimum dating to June 1. That includes Monday's 5-4 win in 10 innings. This was their eighth consecutive one-run victory at Nationals Park.
Ramon Ortiz, who was called up from Triple-A Iowa to make his season debut, allowed three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and fanned seven over six innings. Ortiz (0-1) made two starts with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.
"He was throwing strikes from the get-go," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "It wasn't like he was walking people and struggling. He hung in there really, really well."
Aramis Ramirez belted a two-run homer in the sixth inning for the Cubs, losers in four of their last five contests.
The homer to left by Ramirez, his 13th of the year, plated Reed Johnson. He doubled to start the sixth. Geovany Soto doubled with one out, but was left stranded there by reliever Todd Coffey.
Pinch-hitter Tony Campana bunted for a hit in the seventh and stole second, but Tyler Clippard fanned Johnson to end the threat.
The Nationals wasted a chance with two men in scoring position in the eighth, and after Byrd singled in the ninth first baseman Alex Cora dropped what should have been an inning-ending double play. Instead, Carlos Pena was safe at first. Darwin Barney grounded out to end the game.
There was trouble right from the start for Ortiz, who gave up singles to Roger Bernadina, Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman to begin the first. Laynce Nix then hit a ball to second baseman Jeff Baker for what should have been a double play, but his throw was high to second base and two runs scored. Rick Ankiel walked with one out to load the bases, leading to Wilson Ramos' infield single, a ball that was knocked down by Ramirez at third.
Despite the positive stretch, Nats manager Davey Johnson was critical of his team's offense.
"We're not getting the clutch base hit," he said. "We hit some balls hard tonight. That was great, but the wild throw to second gives us two runs. I know we're a lot better than that."
Baker left the game in the third inning with lower back spasms...Along with selecting the contract of Ortiz on Tuesday, the Cubs made a number of roster moves. They recalled pitcher Chris Carpenter, optioned pitcher Casey Coleman to Iowa and placed pitcher Marcos Mateo on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow soreness...First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, were at the game as part of an initiative to support the military and its families.
- CHICAGO: 2
Jul 5 9:54 PM
- Aramis Ramirez one-out, two-run Home Run (13) to left scored Reed Johnson. Geovany Soto due up.
Cubs 2, Nationals 3 Top 6, 1 OutJul 5 8:40 PM
- Wilson Ramos singled to third scored Ryan Zimmerman. On the play, Rick Ankiel advances to second and Laynce Nix advances to third. Bases loaded with one out and Ian Desmond due up.
Cubs 0, Nationals 3 Bot 1, 1 OutJul 5 7:27 PM
- Laynce Nix reached first on Jeff Baker's throwing error, scored Roger Bernadina and Danny Espinosa. On the play, Laynce Nix advances to second and Ryan Zimmerman advances to third. Runners on second and third with none out and Jayson Werth due up.
Cubs 0, Nationals 2 Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 5 7:20 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 5 7:07 PM
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