Game 8: Nationals 2, Reds 1 (13 Innings)


The Nationals are finding ways to win in extra innings.

Jayson Werth singled with the bases loaded in the boottom of the 13th inning to score Danny Espinosa and give the Nats a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night, their second straight extra-inning victory.

As he did in Monday’s opener, Craig Stammen (W, 2-0) struck out three batters in the top of the final inning, allowing only a single to Joey Votto, to get the win. Sean Marshall (L, 0-1)  took the loss, allowing Werth’s game winner, two walks and an infield single to Espinosa, all with one out.

Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann continued his hard luck ways, pitching well enough to win, but getting no run support. He allowed just three hits, two walks and one run — on a sacrifice fly by Reds starter Bronson Arroyo in the top of the fifth. The hit  scored former National Willie Harris, who had doubled to lead off the inning. Zimmerman struck out three.

Arroyo was nearly as good, allowing the Nats just three hits and one walk while striking out four over 7 1-3 shutout innings.

But the Nationals’ bench got Zimmerman off the hook when pinch-hitter Xavier Nady greeted another ex-Nat, Bill Bray, with his first home run of the season, sending Bray’s second pitch over the left field wall.

Both bullpens clamped down after that, each working out of jams in extra innings. The Reds’ best chance came in the top of the 12th against Tom Gorzelany. Ryan Ludwick led off with a double, and Ryan Hanigan worked a one-out walk. But Gorzelanny struck out Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs to end the threat.

The Nationals had the winning run on third in the 12th against Thursday’s loser, Alfredo Simon. Roger Bernadina drew a one-out walk and stole second. When Wilson Ramos hit a routine grounder to short, Bernadina rounded the bag at third and got caught in a rundown near home. That allowed Ramos to come all the way around to third, although he slid in barely under the tag. Simon ended the inning by striking out pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi.

Champs of the Game: Werth, who collected his second hit of the season with the bases loaded and improved his average with runners in scoring position to 3-for-10. Also, Stammen, who had a three-strkeout inning for the second straight game.

For the Reds, it was Arroyo, who kept his team in the game on the mound and provided the only run with his bat. He also had a base hit.

Chumps of the Game: LaRoche, who went 0-for-4, stranded two runners and committed the first of a pair of two-out errors in the 7th inning. Zimmermann bailed out the Nats by striking out Arroyo, the only time in the game he was retired.

For the Reds, Marshall, who understandably pitched around Ryan Zimmerman with a man on first in the 13th to get to a favorable lefty-lefty matchup with LaRoche, but then lost that matchup with a five pitch walk.

Unsung Heroes: Zimmermann, who extended the shutout streak by Nationals starting pitchers to 22 before Arroyo’s sac fly.

For the Reds, Votto, who was 2-for-3 with three walks but was stranded on base every time.

Next Game: Saturday, April 14, 4:05 p.m. at Nationals Park. Homer Bailey (0-1) vs. Edwin Jackson (0-0).