Harper drives in winner as Nats edge D'BacksMay 4, 2012 - 5:17 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson moved 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper up from No. 7 in the batting order to No. 3 prior to Thursday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Harper slapped a go-ahead opposite field RBI double in the sixth inning, lifting the Nationals to a 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks in the rubber match of a three-game set.
The youngest player in the major leagues has been red-hot since making his much anticipated debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. Harper is 6-for-16 (.375) with four doubles, three RBI and two runs scored through five games.
Ross Detwiler (3-1) allowed a run on three hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings for the Nationals, who have won two straight on the heels of a five- game skid.
Tyler Clippard had a 1-2-3 eighth frame, while Henry Rodriguez registered his sixth save of the year after retiring the side in order in the ninth.
Ian Kennedy (3-1) was the hard-luck loser -- his first loss in 13 starts -- after giving up two runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings for Arizona, which has dropped two in a row following a three-game winning streak.
"It was tough out there tonight," said Kennedy. "Detwiler was really good over there and their bullpen did a good job."
After Aaron Hill's RBI double tied the contest at 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Washington regained its advantage in the bottom half of the frame.
Ian Desmond, Wednesday's hero who smacked a game-winning two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, led off the frame with a double and moved to third following Steve Lombardozzi's sacrifice bunt.
"I just try to get a pitch I can drive every at-bat," said Harper. "Try to stay as calm as I can no matter what the count is and hope for a pitch up in the zone that I can drive."
Harper stepped up next and laced a slicing double into the left-field corner to plate Desmond, making it 2-1.
Earlier, Rick Ankiel's RBI groundout in the second scored Jayson Werth, who reached on a leadoff double, giving Washington an early 1-0 lead.
Arizona was 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base...Desmond's double was his seventh of the season...Ankiel recorded his first stolen base of the year.
- ARIZONA: 1
May 3 9:33 PM
- Bryce Harper double to left scored Ian Desmond with one out. Runner on second and Jayson Werth due up.
Diamondbacks 1, Nationals 2 Bot 6, 1 OutMay 3 8:40 PM
- Aaron Hill double to right scored Willie Bloomquist with one out. Runner on second and Justin Upton due up.
Diamondbacks 1, Nationals 1 Top 6, 1 OutMay 3 8:31 PM
- Rick Ankiel ground out to first scored Jayson Werth with two out. On the play, Chad Tracy advanced to third. Runner on third and Wilson Ramos due up.
Diamondbacks 0, Nationals 1 Bot 2, 2 OutsMay 3 7:34 PM
- ARIZONA: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
May 3 7:07 PM
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