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Nationals
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Belliard's pinch-hit single leads Nationals

Jun 2, 2007 - 5:01 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Nationals did not need a big hit to overcome the San Diego Padres.

Pinch hitter Ronnie Belliard's infield single scored Cristian Guzman in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Washington Nationals a 4-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.

The ball barely made it out of the infield but Padres second baseman Marcus Giles could not make a play to prevent Guzman from racing home with the winning run.

"Balls like that get hit and we lose, it's real frustrating," Padres reliever Cla Meredith said. "That's kind of how it's been going lately. Got the ground ball that I wanted and needed and ... that ball's hit a little harder a foot to the left or a foot to the right and the ball's caught, but it's just not how it works all the time."

Guzman, who went 4-for-5, singled with one out and advanced to third on a single to right by Ryan Zimmerman. Belliard then delivered the game-winner off Meredith (2-3).

"It don't matter what situation of the game is, I know that I can go the other way," Belliard said. "I just came off the bench and (hitting coach) Lenny Harris said, 'Go out there thinking like that and you will hit it just like that.' I hit it off the end of my bat and broke my bat, but it doesn't matter, the run scored. I'm just glad the ball went to that spot.

"Cristian Guzman got four hits and Dmitri (Young) got four hits. It made me want to go out there and do my job."

While Belliard had plenty to say, the other star of the game had long been sitting in the dugout and was too superstitious to discuss his contribution.

"Talk to somebody else, seriously," said Young, whose four singles coupled with four the previous night matched the franchise record of eight consecutive hits set by Montreal Expos outfielder Andre Dawson in June 1983.

Adrian Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk in the top of the 10th against Nationals right-hander Jon Rauch (3-1) and advanced to third on a single up the middle by Josh Bard, who matched his career high with four hits, including a pair of RBI doubles.

After sandwiching strikeouts of Mike Cameron and Russell Branyon around Bard's single, Rauch got pinch hitter Geoff Blum to bounce out to first baseman Robert Fick to end the threat.

In the bottom of the ninth, Fick singled to center off Padres reliever Heath Bell with two outs and was caught stealing second to end the inning.

Young and Guzman wasted no time in getting to Padres ace Jake Peavy, who allowed three earned runs on 10 hits in seven innings. Peavy struck out seven and walked one.

"I sure didn't have it tonight, that's for sure," Peavy said. "And when you don't have it, you need for balls to be hit at people and not everywhere but at people."

Young, who went 4-for-4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, matched a Nationals' record by hitting safely in seven straight at-bats with three hits against Peavy that helped stake Washington to a 3-1 lead. The seven straight hits matched the feat of former Nationals outfielder Brad Wilkerson, who hit safely in seven consecutive at-bats April 6-7, 2005, at Philadelphia.

Young then extended the streak to a franchise-record eight with a single in the eighth inning off Bell.

"He's locked in," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "You can tell by the way he's taking pitches. He's hitting everybody - hard throwers and soft tossers. Right now, he's in a zone. Don't go talk to him, please."

Peavy, too, knew that Young was on a tear.

"I knew he had been hot, yeah, but that's what happens when you're hot," Peavy said. "I made some good pitches to him and he hit a couple ground balls that were just right out of the reach of Marcus. What do you do? Guzman was the same way. I made a bad pitch selection to Kearns and a bad pitch to Zimmerman and they hit the ball hard down the line.

"Seven innnings and three runs ain't the worst in the world, but it's not certainly what I wanted to do. I just hated that if I had kept one or two of those runs off the board, we win the game. I hate that."

Guzman, who had three hits on Thursday, also hit safely in his first three plate appearances against Peavy. Guzman singled and scored on a first-inning RBI double by Zimmerman, who scored on Young's RBI single that gave Washington a 2-0 lead in the first.

Guzman led off the third with a single, stole second and scored on Young's RBI single for a 3-1 lead. Guzman collected his 1,000th career hit with an infield single in the fifth and his fourth hit of the game on a single to left in the 10th.

The Padres scored a run in the second on back-to-back doubles by Cameron and Bard, who was suspended Friday for three games and fined an undisclosed amount for making contact with umpire Ed Rapuano during the 11th inning of the Padres' game Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

"I've just been working hard on trying to simplify things and I feel like things are starting to come around," Bard said. "I'm just trying to get a good pitch to hit and I found some holes tonight."

Bard appealed the suspension that was scheduled to begin Friday but will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.

"Nope. Nope," Bard replied when asked if the potential suspension had a bearing on his performance. "We'll appeal it and we'll go through the process. We'll just go through the process."

Gonzalez led off the Padres' sixth with a double to left-center field and scored on Bard's RBI double. Bard later scored for a 3-3 tie off Terrmel Sledge's double that richocheted into right-center field off the foot of second base umpire Bob Davidson, eliciting boos from the crowd of 22,354 at RFK Stadium.

Nationals lefthander Matt Chico allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.






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    Threepointone4 Added 5 roots

    Padres vs. NationalsJun 2 12:45 AM


  • NL
    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    SAN DIEGO 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
    WASHINGTON 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    SAN DIEGO 0 3 11 0
    WASHINGTON 1 4 15 0 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: SDG

    Jun 1 10:08 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    FINAL SCORE: WASHINGTON 4, SAN DIEGO 3

    Padres vs. NationalsJun 1 10:08 PM
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    AT WASHINGTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: G Blum hit for H Bell.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, J BARD ON FIRST, A GONZALEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 3
    WASHINGTON 3 TOP, 10TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: G Blum (.180, 1 HR, 4 RBI)

    Jun 1 9:59 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: J Rauch relieved C Cordero.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 3
    WASHINGTON 3 TOP, 10TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: A Gonzalez (.306, 3-FOR-4)

    Jun 1 9:49 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - PITCHING CHANGE
    WAS: JON RAUCH (2-1, 5.27) STARTING THE 10TH
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 3, WASHINGTON 3
    DUE UP FOR SANDIEGO: A GONZALEZ (.306, 3-FOR-4)

    Jun 1 9:49 PM


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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SAN DIEGO 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 10 0
    WASHINGTON 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 12 0 (TOP 10)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SDG - HEATH BELL
    WAS - CHAD CORDERO

    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: A GONZALEZ (.306, 3-FOR-4)
    M CAMERON (.241, 1-FOR-4)
    J BARD (.258, 3-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Jun 1 9:48 PM
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    Padres vs. NationalsJun 1 9:29 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TERRMEL SLEDGE SCORED JOSH BARD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T SLEDGE ON SECOND, R BRANYAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 3
    WASHINGTON 3 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: J PEAVY (.214, 0-FOR-2)

    Padres vs. NationalsJun 1 8:51 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH BARD SCORED ADRIAN GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    WASHINGTON 3 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: R BRANYAN (.241, 1-FOR-2)

    Padres vs. NationalsJun 1 8:41 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DMITRI YOUNG SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D YOUNG ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.252, 0-FOR-1)

    Padres vs. NationalsJun 1 7:58 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH BARD SCORED MIKE CAMERON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARD ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    WASHINGTON 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: R BRANYAN (.231, 4 HR, 12 RBI)

    Padres vs. NationalsJun 1 7:27 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DMITRI YOUNG SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D YOUNG ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 0
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.254, 5 HR, 22 RBI)

    Padres vs. NationalsJun 1 7:20 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 0
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: D YOUNG (.309, 4 HR, 24 RBI)

    Padres vs. NationalsJun 1 7:19 PM
  • Anewstatic I'm feelin' another shutout.

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