Nationals edge MarinersJun 23, 2011 - 5:33 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals pitchers brought their A-game to Nationals Park on Wednesday. John Lannan tossed 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits to lead Washington over Seattle, 2-1, in the middle contest of a three-game interleague series.
Lannan (5-5) fanned three and did not walk a batter to earn the victory for Washington.
Danny Espinosa had two hits, an RBI and scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning for the Nationals, who have won 10 out of their last 11 and reached the .500 mark for the first time since May 11.
"It's a good place to be right now. I've never been on a team that's been at .500 this far into the season," Lannan said. "I like it but it's time to move past that, set new goals and start going above it."
Jerry Hairston Jr. picked up the other RBI for Washington.
Erik Bedard (4-5) worked six strong innings in defeat, giving up two unearned runs on three hits while fanning 10 and walking two.
Miguel Olivo knocked in the lone run for Seattle, which has lost three of its past four games.
The Nationals bullpen worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings and Drew Storen pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 18th save of the season.
Washington took the lead for good in the fourth inning. Espinosa smacked a one-out single, stole second and advanced to third on an arrant throw by Olivo. After Wilson Ramos fanned, Hairston stepped up with two down and hit a ground ball deep in the hole at shortstop. The throw by Brendan Ryan at shortstop was mishandled by Justin Smoak, allowing Espinosa to score.
"(Bedard) is pitching his tail off out there," Ryan said. "We have to do something, we can't just score one run."
Ryan Zimmerman worked a one-out walk and Michael Morse reached on an error by Chone Figgins to put runners on first and second for Washington in the first frame. Espinosa followed and slapped a fastball from Bedard into center to give the Nats an early 1-0 lead in its first at-bat.
Seattle rallied to tie the game at one in the fourth. Smoak laced a two-out double into the left field corner and Olivo followed with an RBI single.
The Mariners threatened in the sixth when Ichiro Suzuki singled off of Lannan's leg to begin the inning and advanced all the way to third on a throwing error. The Mariners were unable to capitalize, however, as Nats reliever Henry Rodriguez got Smoak to hit a sharp liner to Zimmerman at third, which froze Suzuki and he was tagged out after being caught in a rundown. Rodriguez then got Franklin Gutierrez to ground out to end the threat.
Seattle threatened again in the seventh when pinch-hitter Dustin Ackley smacked a single to center and Jack Cust followed with a single of his own to put runners on first and second with two outs. The Mariners were again unable to cash in, as Suzuki fanned to end the inning.
Ackley has recorded a hit in each of his first five major league games...Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 10 games...Washington is 10-4 all-time against Seattle and 8-0 since the franchise relocated from Montreal.
- SEATTLE: 1
Jun 22 9:48 PM
- Jerry Hairston Jr. infield single to short scored Danny Espinosa with two out. Runner on first and John Lannan due up.
Mariners 1, Nationals 2 Bot 4, 2 OutsJun 22 8:18 PM
- Miguel Olivo single to right scored Justin Smoak with two out. Runner on first and Franklin Gutierrez due up.
Mariners 1, Nationals 1 Top 4, 2 OutsJun 22 8:02 PM
- Danny Espinosa single to center scored Ryan Zimmerman with two out. On the play, Michael Morse advances to second. Runners on first and second and Wilson Ramos due up.
Mariners 0, Nationals 1 Bot 1, 2 OutsJun 22 7:21 PM
- SEATTLE: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jun 22 7:07 PM
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