Nationals stage yet another rally in 5-4 win - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Nationals stage yet another rally in 5-4 win

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Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 6:29 am | Updated: 3:47 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The D-Backs put together another multi-run lead against the Washington Nationals Tuesday night. They lost, of course.

They nearly always do against this franchise, as their 2-15 record the past three seasons will attest. Five straight times since Sept. 2, the D-Backs have lost games to the Nationals in which they’ve led by more than one run.

On Tuesday, they had leads of 3-0 after three innings and 4-2 after five.

But at least D-Backs fans got to see some weird plays in their team’s latest come-from-ahead affair. Consider:

• With runners at first and third and one out in the fourth, Miguel Batista popped up a bunt in front of the plate, then stood and watched — instead of running to first — while the Nationals turned a catcher-to-shortstop-to-first double play to end the inning.

• In another goof, Batista made a diving stop of a hard grounder by Brian Schneider.

But instead of throwing Schneider out at first, he tried to throw out Austin Kearns trying to advance from second to third.

He threw late and wide for an error that allowed Kearns to tie the score at 4-4.

Catcher Johnny Estrada called for Batista to throw to third, manager Bob Melvin said.

• Estrada committed a throwing error while lobbing over the head of Tony Pena in the eighth on a simple throw back to the pitcher.

This play, which didn’t cost the D-Backs a run, generated some of the loudest booing of the season.

By this time, the Nationals already had taken a decisive 5-4 lead on a two-base throwing error by Orlando Hudson and a run-scoring single by Nook Logan.

“I cost us the game,” Hudson said.

As for Batista, he dressed quickly after the game and left the clubhouse without talking to reporters.

“Your instincts say the ball is going to be caught,” Melvin said of the pop-up bunt in which the pitcher didn’t hustle toward first.

But, “When you bunt the ball, you gotta get out of the box.”

Nationals manager Frank Robinson, praising catcher Brian Schneider’s quick thinking that led to the inning-ending double play, said, “That was the play of the game.”

All in all, “We were bad,” Melvin said. “In the middle and late innings, we just played poorly.”

The only highlight for the D-Backs came when Luis Gonzalez extended his personal and club record for doubles in a season to 50.

He also became the oldest player (39 years, nine days) to hit 50 in a season. That announcement brought him an ovation.

“It makes it seem like I’m 70 years old,” Gonzalez said.

More seriously, “To me, it’s a nice honor because it means I’m still running out there and doing it.”

Gonzalez said he’ll try to break the mark next season, when he turns 40 in September.

Alfonso Soriano was thrown out trying to steal third by Estrada, cutting short Soriano’s bid to become the fourth player ever with 40 homers and 40 stolen bases in a season (Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Jose Canseco).

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