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Morse belts grand slam as Nats beat D-Backs in extras

Jun 6, 2011 - 4:13 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Michael Morse capped off a five-run 11th inning with a grand slam, as the Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-4, to split a four-game series.

Joe Paterson (0-1), who came into the game with a 0.66 ERA, started on the mound for Arizona in the 11th. Pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. singled up the middle to start things. Pinch-hitter Jordan Zimmermann moved Hairston up a base with a sacrifice bunt.

Roger Bernadina then hit a chopper back to Paterson, whose throw to first seemed to beat the runner. But Bernadina was called safe. Paterson threw around Jayson Werth to load the bases with two outs. When asked to throw strikes against Rick Ankiel, Paterson couldn't do it. He walked Ankiel to force in the go-ahead run. Morse then put the game out of reach with a grand slam to center.

Wilson Ramos hit a three-run homer for the Nationals, who had 11 hits.

Sean Burnett (1-2) tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up the win. Henry Rodriguez pitched a perfect home 11th to seal the victory.

The Diamondbacks entered the bottom of the ninth down by three runs, 4-1. Drew Storen, who recorded the final out in the eighth, stayed on to pitch the ninth. Stephen Drew started the frame with an infield single and moved to second on Chris Young's base hit to center. Miguel Montero almost tied the game with one swing of the bat, but pulled a 3-2 pitch just foul of the right- field pole. Montero eventually walked to load the bases.

Storen then walked Juan Miranda to force in a run. Todd Coffey came in from the bullpen and quickly gave up a sacrifice fly to Melvin Mora. Burnett was then brought into the game to replace Coffey. It seemed like he was going to get out of the jam, when pinch-hitter Xavier Nady hit a grounder to short. Washington tried to turn a game-ending double play, but the throw to first was late. Montero crossed the plate on the play to make it a 4-4 game, and Willie Bloomquist flied out to send the contest into extras.

"Guys played hard. They played good, they didn't give in," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson.

The Nats got on the board in the third. Bernadina and Ian Desmond started the frame with consecutive singles to put men on the corners. Werth followed with a sacrifice fly to right to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

Jason Marquis was having a solid game on the mound for Washington, but an ejection brought his day to an end in the sixth. With one on and one out, Marquis hit Justin Upton in the lower back. Home plate umpire Rob Drake immediately tossed Marquis from the game. Nationals manager Jim Riggleman was also ejected for arguing the decision.

"I felt like I was throwing the ball real well. Unfortunately, there was a warning issued early in the game and the umpire made a call," Marquis said.

Tyler Clippard came in from the bullpen and retired the first two batters he faced to keep Arizona off the board.

The Nats added to their lead in the eighth, an inning that featured more ejections. Esmerling Vasquez gave up a double to Laynce Nix and two batters later, Vasquez hit Danny Espinosa. Vasquez and Gibson were then both ejected from the contest. Aaron Heilman took over on the mound and gave up a three-run homer to Ramos, but retired the next two batters to keep it a 4-0 contest.

Kelly Johnson hit a solo homer off Clippard in the home eighth to cut the gap to 4-1.

Game Notes

Washington won four of its seven meetings with the Diamondbacks last season...Marquis tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits....Arizona starter Ian Kennedy allowed one run on five hits over seven full frames...Arizona fell to 18-5 over its last 23 games...The Nationals avoided being shut out in three straight games...Paterson suffered his first loss in the big leagues.