for this game

Watson leads Nationals over Indians

Jun 23, 2007 - 4:42 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Brandon Watson started a streak on another level and lifted the Washington Nationals to a 4-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

On Sunday, Watson extended his International League-record hitting streak to 43 games with the Columbus Clippers.

Batting eighth in Washington's lineup on Friday, Watson had a pair of two-out hits and two RBI for the Nationals. His RBI double to right-center gave the Nationals a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning.

Watson also had an RBI single to left off Cleveland righthander Fausto Carmona (8-3) that scored Austin Kearns for a 1-1 tie in the fourth.

"Two big hits by the kid," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "He hit it where they ain't."

Watson's headfirst slide on the double gave him more than one reason to be excited about his return to RFK Stadium.

"It was a close play at second, but I got the call," Watson said. "I got up and slapped my hands, like, 'Let's play ball. We're winning the game. It's a big situation, and I'm going to be feeling good.'"

Watson, the godson of former Detroit Tigers outfielder Eric Davis, earned the Nationals' starting spot in center field during spring training in 2006 but kept that job for only seven of Washington's first nine games before being optioned to Class AAA New Orleans. After dislocating his left shoulder, he eventually was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.

Now he's back in Washington trying to make the most of another chance.

"I'm going to stay within myself this time and just put the ball in play and play hard and whatever happens after that has to happen," said Watson, who had two hits in a major league game for the first time since he debuted on Aug. 9, 2005, at Houston. "It's been awhile but I'm back here. I'm fortunate to be in the lineup, so I'm going to play hard every day."

Cristian Guzman, who went 3-for-4, made it 4-1 with a solo home run to right in the seventh. Guzman's second homer of the season was the first of his career at RFK Stadium.

Although lefthander Micah Bowie has only two quality starts this season, the Nationals are 6-0 when he takes the mound to begin games.

"He's a good pitcher, a guy like Kenny Rogers," said Jhonny Peralta, one of only two Indians to get two hits. "He takes off speed and puts on speed. He's got a good changeup too, so he threw a very good game."

Bowie struck out a season-high seven batters but ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Jason Michaels led off with a single. After striking out Casey Blake, Bowie walked Victor Martinez and was relieved by Luis Ayala.

Ayala, who last pitched for the Nationals in 2005, was recalled from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday. After yielding a bloop single to left by Peralta that loaded the bases, Ayala induced pinch hitter Travis Hafner into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

"It was good for me to get my confidence back," Ayala said. "It's been a long time."

Righthander Saul Rivera (2-2) retired the Indians in order in the sixth to get the win. All told, seven Washington pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts and limited the Indians to eight hits.

Carmona allowed three runs on 10 hits in six innings of work.

"Even though I got the loss, I felt like I threw well enough to keep us in the game," Carmona said. "I'm a sinkerball pitcher so I'm going to get a lot of ground balls, but tonight a few more got through."

Closer Chad Cordero struck out two in the ninth inning and picked up his 12th save.

The Nationals forged a 1-1 tie in the fourth on Austin Kearns' walk, an infield single by Brian Schneider and Watson's RBI single.

After Casey Blake and Victor Martinez drew walks, the Indians took a 1-0 lead on Peralta's RBI single in the third.

"It's hard to face so many different guys," Peralta said. "Sometimes you've got good luck and hit the ball well. Sometimes you don't hit. Today is that day."

"It was just a product of us not getting anything going offensively," Indians manager Eric Wedge added. "Their bullpen did a good job. Anytime you have to go to the bullpen in the fifth inning of a tight game, you're going to go through some guys. Ultimately, they did a good job."

The game featured a candidate for the all-time blooper reel, when Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman fielded a ground ball off the bat of Franklin Gutierrez and lost it inside his own jersey. The play was scored a single for Gutierrez, although Zimmerman's smirk indicated otherwise.

"I was more upset because I didn't get the guy out, but it was kind of funny," said Zimmerman, who looked all around his feet before realizing where the ball was. "I don't know how it got in there, but it got in there somehow."

Bowie had a better angle from the mound.

"That's going to be a blooper highlight," he said. "I've never seen that before."








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 x 4 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CLE - FAUSTO CARMONA, FERNANDO CABRERA (7TH), AARON FULTZ (8TH) AND
    VICTOR MARTINEZ
    WAS - MICAH BOWIE, LUIS AYALA (5TH), SAUL RIVERA (6TH),
    RAY KING (7TH), JESUS C

    Jun 22 10:11 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CRISTIAN GUZMAN (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF FERNANDO CABRERA.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1, WASHINGTON 4
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.238, 3-FOR-3)

    Indians vs. NationalsJun 22 9:33 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRANDON WATSON SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B WATSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: S RIVERA (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Indians vs. NationalsJun 22 9:17 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BRIAN SCHNEIDER HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING DMITRI YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KEARNS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: B WATSON (.200, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Indians vs. NationalsJun 22 9:15 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRANDON WATSON SCORED RYAN CHURCH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B WATSON ON FIRST, B SCHNEIDER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: M BOWIE (.111, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. NationalsJun 22 8:30 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JHONNY PERALTA SCORED CASEY BLAKE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J PERALTA ON FIRST, V MARTINEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.294, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Indians vs. NationalsJun 22 7:55 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Hogie Added 5 roots

    Indians vs. NationalsMay 24 6:53 PM