Rangers
Nationals
3 - 4 Final/14
  for this game

Dukes' big night helps Nationals edge Rangers

Jun 21, 2008 - 5:34 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Elijah Dukes is finally feeling at home.

Dukes had a career-hit five hits, including a bases-loaded single in the 14th inning, that drove home the winning run as the Washington Nationals beat the Texas Rangers, 4-3, in an interleague matchup on Friday night.

With one out in the 14th, Felipe Lopez was hit by a pitch from Jamey Wright (4-3) and Paul Lo Duca and Ryan Langerhans both walked to load the bases. Cristian Guzman struck out, and Dukes singled to left to score Lopez with the winning run. The Nationals had lost 14 of their previous 19 games.

After just one hit in his first 26 at-bats with the Washington Nationals, Dukes is finding his stroke. The embattled outfielder has raised his average from .038 to .270. since May 20.

"When you know what you can do, there's no need to press," Dukes said. "I knew I was a better hitter. It was just a matter of time for me to wake up and start hitting the ball."

Joel Hanrahan (3-2), Washington's sixth pitcher of the game, picked up the win. He pitched two scoreless innings as Nationals pitchers allowed just one hit in the game's final 10 2/3 innings.

"We had opportunities. They squandered them," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We couldn't do nothing with Dukes all night."

Texas, which played in Washington for the first time since it left the District for Arlington in September 1971, took a 3-0 lead in the second on Ian Kinsler's bases-loaded double.

Marlon Byrd led off the second with a single off Tim Redding. With one out, Gerald Laird doubled to right , but Byrd took such a wide turn at third that first baseman Dmitri Young, who trotted to home plate, easily tagged him out.

After Ramon Vazquez and pitcher Kevin MiIlwood were walked intentionally, Kinsler's double hit the base of the wall in right field to score Laird, Vazquez and Millwood.

Redding knew that he wasn't the one to credit for the game. It was the bullpen.

"That's why we ended up winning the game," Redding said. "The bullpen came in."

And, there was Dukes, whose brushes with the law made him expendable in Tampa Bay.

"I can't say anything bad about the guy," Redding said. "Everybody knows the baggage he's had coming into this season, but he is by far one of the best ballplayers we have in this clubhouse talent-wise, effort-wise on the field."

The Nationals scored two runs in the bottom of the third on Flores' two-run single off Millwood. With two outs, Dukes singled and stole second before Lastings Milledge and Young walked to load the bases. Flores then singled to right, scoring Dukes and Milledge.

On the first pitch of the bottom of the eighth inning, Dukes tied the score at 3-3 with his second home run of the season.

Millwood pitched eight innings - equaling his longest outing of the year. He allowed three runs and seven hits, walking three and striking out four.

"I guess if it wasn't for Elijah Dukes, it would have been an easy game for us," Millwood said. "I couldn't get him out."

Redding has not lost since May 9 and is now without a decision in his last six starts. He allowed three runs and five hits while walking two and striking out five.

Laird legged out an infield single in the fourth but strained his right hamstring and had to leave the game. He was placed on the disabled list after the game, and the Rangers recalled catcher Max Ramirez from Class AA Frisco.

Laird's hit was the last hit for the Rangers until the top of the 11th.

Redding, Charlie Manning, Luis Ayala, Jon Rauch and Rivera combined to retire the next 21 straight batters.








  • ML
    FINAL 14
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0
    10 11 12 13 14 R H E
    -- -- -- -- -- - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 1 4 12 1 (FINAL 14)

    BATTERIES: TEX

    Jun 20 11:47 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ELIJAH DUKES SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    FINAL SCORE: WASHINGTON 4, TEXAS 3

    Rangers 3, Nationals 4  Bot 14, 0 OutsJun 20 11:46 PM
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    Rangers 3, Nationals 3  Top 14, 0 OutsJun 20 11:22 PM
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    Rangers 3, Nationals 3  Top 12, 0 OutsJun 20 10:45 PM
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    Rangers 3, Nationals 3  Top 11, 0 OutsJun 20 10:29 PM
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    Rangers 3, Nationals 3  Top 11, 0 OutsJun 20 10:27 PM
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    Rangers 3, Nationals 3  Bot 10, 0 OutsJun 20 10:21 PM
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    Rangers 3, Nationals 3  Top 10, 0 OutsJun 20 10:08 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ELIJAH DUKES (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF KEVIN MILLWOOD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3, WASHINGTON 3
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: L MILLEDGE (.248, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Rangers 3, Nationals 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 20 9:46 PM
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    Rangers 3, Nationals 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 20 9:46 PM
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    Rangers 3, Nationals 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 20 9:31 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED ELIJAH DUKES AND LASTINGS
    MILLEDGE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    WASHINGTON 2 END BOTTOM, 3RD

    Rangers 3, Nationals 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 20 8:37 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY IAN KINSLER SCORED GERALD LAIRD, RAMON VAZQUEZ
    AND KEVIN MILLWOOD.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, I KINSLER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: F CATALANOTTO (.278, 1-FOR-1)

    Rangers 3, Nationals 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 20 8:08 PM