for this game

Flores' walk-off single powers Nationals to win

Jun 26, 2008 - 5:01 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Jesus Flores' walk-off single to the gap in right-center scored Elijah Dukes with the winning run to lift the Washington Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday night.

Washington's last four wins at Nationals Park have been won in its final at-bat and Dukes has had a prominent hand in each of those victories, scoring on a wild pitch in one of the games while providing the game-winning hit in the next two contests.

"I like it because it tells you that they're not giving up," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "It says a lot about the kids because it could have been very deflating. They could have given up once they gave up the lead in the eighth inning. Those guys said in the dugout, 'This is our game. They're not going to take it away from us. Let's go grab it.'"

In this game, Dukes led off the ninth with a single to center and moved to second on a groundout to third by Lastings Milledge. Four pitches later, Flores lined a 2-1 curveball off Scot Shields (3-2) to deep left center, easily plating the winning run.

"I was so excited about it that I just wanted to celebrate with my teammates that we won the game," said Flores, who made a U-turn after rounding first base in order to meet the oncoming throng of happy Nationals players ready to mob him in the infield.

"It's baseball," Angels outfielder Garret Anderson said. "They kept playing, too. They are not going to roll over and play dead for anybody. So, you know, they got the right hits at the right time and they won the game."

The game-winner helped Flores atone for striking out with the bases loaded and none out in the seventh inning, when the Nationals stranded all three baserunners. They also left the bases loaded an inning earlier when Flores grounded out to shortstop for the first out of that inning as well.

"I knew I was swinging at a lot of bad pitches," said Flores, who was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts entering his final at-bat. "They were throwing a lot of breaking stuff to me and I think I was swinging too hard and being too aggressive.

"So in that at-bat, I just tried to calm down myself and prepare myself to look for that pitch. I was glad to get that hanging curveball and hit it for a base hit."

Closer Jon Rauch (4-1), who entered with one out in the eighth inning, earned the win.

Nationals starter Tim Redding allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings of work but received his seventh straight no-decision. However, Washington won for the ninth straight time when Redding starts and improved to 14-3 when he takes the mound.

After Ronnie Belliard and Wily Mo Pena delivered back-to-back RBI singles that scored Dukes and Lastings Milledge to give Washington a 4-2 lead in the sixth, Erick Aybar led off the eighth with a single to right, scored on an RBI double by Casey Kotchman that pulled the Angels within 4-3.

Kotchman's drive to right chased Nationals righthander Luis Ayala, who was relieved by Rauch.

Howie Kendrick greeted the Nationals' closer with an sacrifice fly to center that scored Anderson, who was aboard courtesy of a fielding error by Washington second baseman Pete Orr, and tied the score at 4-4.

But the Nationals left the bases loaded in both the sixth and seventh innings, leaving the door open for an Angels' rally.

The Angels tied it at 2-2 in the third on consecutive singles by Aybar, Anderson, Torii Hunter and an RBI single by Kotchman that scored Aybar.

Dukes spoiled a potential big inning for the Angels by catching a fly ball off the bat of Kendrick and throwing out Anderson at the plate from right field for a double play that ended the threat. The outfield assist was his fifth of the season and 12th of his career.

Aaron Boone collected the 1,000th hit of his career with an infield single in the eighth. He became the fourth member of his family to reach the millennium mark, joining the ranks of his grandfather Ray (1,260 hits), father Bob (1,838) and brother Bret (1,775).

"It's pretty cool," Boone said. "I've had my share of injuries in my career, so I guess it says I've survived long enough to get that many hits. To join my other family members is something I'm proud of and I think it's pretty cool."








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

    BATTERIES: LAA - ERVIN SANTANA, JUSTIN SPEIER (7TH), SCOT SHIELDS (8TH) AND
    JEFF MATHIS
    WAS - TIM REDDING, SAUL RIVERA (7TH), LUIS AYALA (8TH),
    JON RAUCH (8TH) AND JESUS FLOR

    Jun 25 9:51 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED ELIJAH DUKES.
    FINAL SCORE: WASHINGTON 5, LA ANGELS 4

    Angels 4, Nationals 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 25 9:51 PM
  • 118
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Angels 4, Nationals 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 25 9:50 PM
  • 113
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Angels 4, Nationals 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 25 9:47 PM
  • 108
    roots
    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Angels 4, Nationals 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 25 9:35 PM
  • 103
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Angels 4, Nationals 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 25 9:28 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY HOWIE KENDRICK SCORED GARRET ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C KOTCHMAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4
    WASHINGTON 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G MATTHEWS (.245, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Angels 4, Nationals 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 25 9:25 PM
  • 98
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels 4, Nationals 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 25 9:25 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CASEY KOTCHMAN SCORED ERICK AYBAR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C KOTCHMAN ON SECOND, G ANDERSON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    WASHINGTON 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.318, 1-FOR-3)

    Angels 3, Nationals 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 25 9:19 PM
  • 61
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels 3, Nationals 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 25 9:19 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WILY MO PENA SCORED LASTINGS MILLEDGE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, W PENA ON FIRST, R BELLIARD ON SECOND, D
    YOUNG ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    WASHINGTON 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.177, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 2, Nationals 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 25 8:44 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED ELIJAH DUKES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R BELLIARD ON FIRST, D YOUNG ON SECOND, L
    MILLEDGE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W PENA (.214, 1-FOR-2)

    Angels 2, Nationals 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 25 8:42 PM
  • 26
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 26 roots

    Angels 2, Nationals 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 25 8:15 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CASEY KOTCHMAN SCORED ERICK AYBAR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C KOTCHMAN ON FIRST, T HUNTER ON SECOND, G
    ANDERSON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    WASHINGTON 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.315, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 2, Nationals 2  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 25 7:48 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY GARY MATTHEWS SCORED TORII HUNTER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G MATTHEWS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1
    WASHINGTON 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: J MATHIS (.226, 5 HR, 19 RBI)

    Angels 1, Nationals 2  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 25 7:30 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY LASTINGS MILLEDGE (7) TO CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF ERVIN SANTANA SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 0, WASHINGTON 2
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: J FLORES (.298, 4 HR, 27 RBI)

    Angels 0, Nationals 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 25 7:19 PM