Nix's pinch-hit sac fly leads Nats past MarinersJun 23, 2011 - 9:00 PM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Laynce Nix delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the ninth to score the game's only run as Washington capped a three- game sweep of the Seattle Mariners with a 1-0 win.
With Chris Ray (3-2) on the mound, Michael Morse led off with a single and Danny Espinosa followed with a bunt that rolled past Ray. Ivan Rodriguez followed with a bunt to first that Justin Smoak attempted to get the lead runner at third, but Morse beat the throw and everyone was safe.
Jerry Hairston Jr. then hit a grounder to short for a force out at home, but Nix followed with a fly ball to left that saw Espinosa easily come home for the win.
However, the real news of the game came after the win as Washington manager Jim Riggleman announced his resignation after the game due to contract issues. His contract was up at the end of the season and he wanted his option for next year picked up, but general manager Mike Rizzo declined to do that.
"If you're going to do this job you have to be committed to it and I didn't feel that way," said Riggleman. "It's been brewing for a while and I know I'm not Casey Stengel, but I know what I'm doing and I felt that it was a situation that I couldn't continue with things with the way they were."
The announcement comes as a shock as Washington had just completed a nine-game homestand with a mark of 8-1 to move over .500 with a record of 38-37.
"He had told me before the game that he was displeased with his contract situation and he said if it wasn't corrected he would resign," said Rizzo. "So, we accepted his resignation. The organization is committed to putting a winner on the field and we will stay committed to that."
The team has not yet named an interim manager but Rizzo said one would be named prior to Friday's series opener in Chicago against the White Sox.
Tyler Clippard (1-0) got the win for tossing the ninth inning while starter Jason Marquis went eight innings for Washington and was charged with just three hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Smoak had two of the four hits for the Mariners, who have dropped four of five. Michael Pineda went seven innings in the start and was charged with four hits and a walk with nine strikeouts.
Jayson Werth wound up on third with one out in the first, but he was tagged out at the plate trying to score on a Ryan Zimmerman fly out.
Seattle didn't get its first hit of the game until Pineda plunked a single to center with one out in the sixth. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a single, but Dustin Ackley grounded into a fielder's choice and Adam Kennedy grounded out to end the threat.
Smoak clubbed a one-out double in the ninth, but Clippard struck out Miguel Olivo and Mike Carp to finish the frame.
Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 11 games...It was the third straight series Washington has swept Seattle as the team also took three-game sets in 2008 in Seattle and 2005 in Washington.
- SEATTLE: 0
Jun 23 3:46 PM
- Pinch-hitter Laynce Nix sacrifice fly to left scored Danny Espinosa, to win the game.
Mariners 0, Nationals 1 Bot 9, 2 OutsJun 23 3:46 PM
- SEATTLE: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jun 23 1:09 PM
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