Gerardo Parra popped up to Denard Span in center field on the first pitch of the game from Washington Nationals' right-hander Stephen Strasburg. Seven pitches and two groundouts later the 24-year-old Nats' starter had an eight-pitch scoreless first in the books in his 15th start of 2013. 23-year-old Arizona Diamondbacks' lefty Patrick Corbin got two outs with five pitches with help from a diving catch by Jason Kubel in left on a one-out line drive off Anthony Rendon's bat. Ryan Zimmerman doubled off the base of the out-of-town scoreboard with two down in the Nats' half of the first, but Jayson Werth popped a 2-2 fastball up over first base and Paul Goldschmidt's catch ended the opening frame in the series finale in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Strasburg missed with a 2-2 curve to Miguel Montero, then threw a full-count fastball by the batter and catcher Jhonatan Solano on ball four. Jayson Werth showed no signs of a lingering groin issue when he sprinted toward the right field line to reel in a pop fly by Cody Ross. When Jason Kubel flew to center it was Denard Span's turn to show off his skills. The Nats' center field tracked Kubel's fly to the wall in right-center and leapt to pull the ball off the letters of the GEICO sign, robbing the D-Backs' outfielder of extra bases. A swinging K from Didi Gregorious followed and Strasburg was at 26 pitches overall after an 18-pitch second.
Ian Desmond tried to bunt his way on after a leadoff single to right by Adam LaRoche, but a nice barehand play by Aaron Hill turned it into a sacrifice on a failed attempt to bunt for a hit. Two quick outs followed, however, and LaRoche was stranded at second at the end of the home-half of Patrick Corbin's second scoreless inning.
An 0-2 change from Stephen Strasburg to D-Backs' third baseman Cliff Pennington had the infielder completely off-balance and it got a weak grounder back to the mound. Strasburg wasted nine pitches on the opposing pitcher, as Corbin fouled off three full-count fastballs before grounding out. Gerardo Parra took an 0-2 curve outside to left for a two-out opposite field single. Strasburg got up 0-2 on Aaron Hill, who battled for seven pitches, but the seventh was in the dirt and Jhonatan Solano made a great play to field it on one hop before firing to second where Anthony Rendon tagged Parra for out no.3 of a 24-pitch inning that had Strasburg at 50 overall after three.
Patrick Corbin's 10-pitch, 1-2-3, 2 K third had him at 32 pitches total after three scoreless vs the Nats..
A knee-high, late-breaking, 1-2 fastball to Aaron Hill got the D-Backs' infielder looking. Paul Goldschmidt took a 96 mph 1-2 fastball back up the middle for a one-out single. Denard Span raced over to the #NATITUDE sign on the wall in front of the Red Porch seats to the left of center field this time to catch a fly ball from Miguel Montero that the Diamondbacks' catcher watched as he ran to first like it was out. Goldschmidt stole second on Strasburg in spite of another strong throw from Jhonatan Solano. Strasburg "missed" with a 2-2 fastball outside to Cody Ross, but busted him inside with an 86 mph full-count change that crossed Ross up and got the D-Backs' outfielder swinging.
Aaron Hill handled a sharp grounder from Ryan Zimmerman. Jayson Werth K'd swinging over a diving 2-2 slider. Adam LaRoch walked with two down when Patrick Corbin missed with a sweeping full-count slider, bringing Ian Desmond up with a runner on. Desmond spit on two two-strike sliders, taking them for the balls they were and then crushed the 2-2 bender the D-Backs' lefty threw him when Corbin left it up inside. Two-run home run to left, 2-0 Nationals. Desmond's 13th of 2013.
Jason Kubel hit a 1-2 fastball to center for a leadoff single in the top of the fifth, but Denard Span was on top of a pop to center by Didi Gregorious and Stephen Strasburg got a double play grounder out of Cliff Pennington to end a 14-pitch inning with a 6-4-3. 80 overall after five. Patrick Corbin gave up a leadoff single by Jhonatan Solano, but Stephen Strasburg bunted Solano over/gave up an out and Span popped to first before Anthony Rendon grounded out to end a 10-pitch inning that had Corbin up to 63 pitches, down 2-0 after five.
Patrick Corbin started the sixth with an opposite field single to left, then scored when D-Backs' second baseman Aaron Hill crushed a 1-0 fastball from Stephen Strasburg, sending a two-run home run soaring out to left field and into the visitor's bullpen. Hill's third of 2013 tied it at 2-2, and a single by Paul Goldschmidt and walk to Miguel Montero followed, brought pitching coach Steve McCatty out to the mound for a chat with the Nationals' right-hander. The Nats' starter was up to 92 pitches after the walk, but he popped Cody Ross and Jason Kubel up to end a 22-pitch inning at 102 pitches overall. Cliff Pennington fielded consecutive grounders from Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth for the first two outs of the Nats' sixth. Adam LaRoche worked the count full against Patrick Corbin and walked on the eleventh pitch from the D-Backs' lefty, but Ian Desmond K'd looking at a 93 mph 0-2 fastball inside for out no.3. of the Nationals' sixth. 25-pitch inning, 88 total for Corbin after six.
Stephen Strasburg came back out for the seventh and got a weak groundout to first from Didi Gregorious with 1-2 change. A 96 mph 0-1 fastball got a weak groundout to short from Cliff Pennington. A 2-2 change got the opposing pitcher looking to end an 11-pitch inning that had Strasburg up to 113. Gerardo Parra tracked a fly to center off Tyler Moore's bat down in center, but ran into the edge of the out-of-town scoreboard hard after he caught it. He was fine, luckily. Chris Marrero hit for Strasburg, connected with a 1-1 change and singled to left after replacing the Nats' starter. Jeff Kobernus came on to run for Marrero, and stole second, but Paul Goldschmidt fielded a sharp grounder to first by Denard Span and got over to the bag for the third out of the inning.
Stephen Strasburg's Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 113 P, 76 S, 8/7 GO/FO.
Drew Storen got Gerardo Parra looking, frozen on an 0-2 change. Aaron Hill K'd swinging at a 3-2 slider for out no.2. Paul Goldschmidt K'd swinging through a 2-2 change. 15-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth for the Nats' right-handed reliever.
Brad Ziegeler took over for the D-Backs, ending Patrick Corbin's night after 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 111 pitches, 76 strikes and 11 ground ball outs. Cliff Pennington made a nice play on a sharp grounder of Anthony Rendon's bat, throwing to first just in time to get the Nats' second baseman. Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to Penning too, but Jayson Werth singled to center with two down, but Adam LaRoche grounded weakly to second to end the eighth.
Ian Krol came out for the top of the ninth, gave up a one-out single to right by Cody Ross, but popped Jason Kubel up for the second out of the inning. Didi Gregorius worked the count full and singled to left with two down, but Krol got up 0-2 on Cliff Pennington and got a groundout to third to end a scoreless 24-pitch top of the ninth. David Hernandez took over for the D-Backs in the ninth. Ian Desmond K'd swinging over a 2-2 curve. Roger Bernadina K'd swinging through a 2-2 fastball. So did Jhonatan Solano. Free Baseball.
Rafael Soriano came out for the top of the ninth. Eric Hinske worked a leadoff walk out of the Nats' closer. Gerardo Parra bunted pinch runner Willie Bloomquist over to second/gave up an out. Aaron Hill flew to left for out no.2 and Paul Goldschmidt lined to right to end the D-Backs' tenth. Josh Collmenter came on for Arizona. Chad Tracy got a pinch hit opportunity, but struck out swinging. Denard Span singled up the middle with one down in the Nationals' tenth. Anthony Rendon took a 3-1 pitch for a called strike two, and flew out to right for the second out of the inning. Ryan Zimmerman flew out to right.
Nats' right-hander Craig Stammen surrendered a ground rule double on the second pitch he threw to D-Backs' catcher Miguel Montero. Cody Ross bunted pinch runner A.J. Pollock over to third, and after a walk to Jason Kubel put runners on the corners with one down, Didi Gregorius dropped a perfect bunt down to bring in the go-ahead run on what ended up being single when Gregorious beat Jhonatan Solano's throw to first. Cliff Pennington K'd swinging through a fastball for out no.2 and Wil Nieves did too for the final out of the frame.
Heath Bell took the mound in the bottom of the eleventh looking for his 14th save. Jayson Werth K'd swinging for out no.1. Adam LaRoche lined a single to center on a 1-1 fastball from Bell. Ian Desmond grounded into a force at second, but beat the throw to first to avoid the double play, but Roger Bernadina popped up to end the game. 3-2 D-Backs.
Nationals now 39-39