Back home in DC, the Washington Nationals are on the field first with TIm Redding on the hill in Nationals Park, Washington, DC, facing the AL West’s 3rd Place Texas Rangers and their power-house centerfielder Josh Hamilton...
Frank Catalanotto takes a wide turn around first after a one-out single to left starts the Rangers’ night. Redding serves up a high fastball that Michael Young pushes all the way to the wall in center, Lastings Milledge makes the play. Our first look at Josh Hamilton...Redding throws a low fastball by a swinging Hamilton to end the top of the opening frame...Kevin Millwood hustles towards first on Cristian Guzman’s grounder and makes it there in time to get the first out of the Nationals’ half. Elijah Dukes lines a full-count fastball back up the middle for a single. Lastings Milledge grounds out to third. Dukes takes second. Dukes steals third. DY grounds out to end the first.
Former National Marlon Byrd grounds one off Redding’s foot for an infield single. David Murphy flies out to his counterpart Willie Harris in left. Gerald Laird bounces a line drive off the scoreboard in right, Dukes throws in wildly, but Byrd gets caught between third and home and is tagged out without incident. Ramon Vazquez gets the intentionals to bring up Millwood. Redding walks the opposing pitcher to load the bases for Ian Kinsler. Kinsler blasts one to right, over Dukes’ head and off the scoreboard, three runs score. 3-0 Rangers...Jesus Flores and Kory Casto ground out, but Felipe Lopez’s gets through the infield for a two-out single to center. Willie Harris grounds into a force at second. 3-0 Texas after two.
Redding retires the Rangers in order the third. (67 pitches through 3.0 IP). Redding grounds out to start the Nationals’ third. Guzman’s thrown out by Ian Kinsler at second. Elijah Dukes ropes his second single of the night to left with two down. Dukes steals second. Lastings Milledge works a walk. DY walks to load the bases for Jesus Flores...WWJD? Flores goes the other way with an inside pitch for a single to right... Dukes and Milledge score...DY turns toward third, but decides against it too late, getting tagged out on the way back to second. 3-2 Rangers.
With one down and one on in the top of the fourth, Lastings Milledge robs Ramon Vazquez of a single with a diving catch on a short fly to center, Milledge jumps up and fires to first too late to catch Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who scurries back in time (having replaced injured catcher Gerald Laird). Tim Redding gets Kevin Millwood swinging for the final out of the Rangers’ fourth. Millwood takes the mound and retires three straight Nationals.
Felipe Lopez retreats to short right to catch Ian Kinsler’s pop out. Frank Catalanotto flies out to center. Michael Young grounds out to short for a quick fifth for Tim Redding...Elijah Dukes’ Discerning Eye takes a two-out walk from Millwood in the bottom of the fifth. Lastings Milledge flies out to deep center to end the fifth.
Josh Hamilton’s swinging 3-0, and after flying out he’s now 0 for 3 this evening. Marlon Byrd lines a high fastball right to Dukes in right. David Murphy flies out to the edge of the “Curly W” in the centerfield grass where Milledge closes his glove on it... DY grounds out to short to start the DC sixth. Jesus Flores shatters a bat smacking a curve over second for a single. Kory Casto strikes out swinging, and it looks like he was supposed to make contact, as Flores gets thrown out "stealing" second. 3-2 after six.
Charlie Manning replaces Redding for the seventh and continues the trend Redding had been repeating with a 1-2-3 seventh. Stand up and Stretch! (ed. note - "No really, do, this is a long one...")...Felipe Lopez strikes out. Willie Harris lines a one-out single to right. Aaron Boone chases high heat from Millwood for a swinging K. Willie Harris steals second. Guzman chases a 1-2 curve into the dirt to end the seventh.
Luis Ayala takes over on the mound in the eighth. Elijah Dukes glides and then slides in to catch an Ian Kinsler fly to short right. Catalanotto grounds out to second. Michael Young puts one right into Felipe Lopez’s glove at second to end the top of the inning....Elijah Dukes waits on a hanging curve and lifts it deeeeeep to left and GONE! Into the Rangers’ bullpen for a solo shot that ties it at 3-3. Lastings Milledge grounds out to second. DY grounds weakly to first. Jesus Flores flies out to center. Tied at 3-3 after eight.
The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History gets a ground ball to second from Josh Hamilton, as the Nationals handle the Rangers’ slugger tonight. Marlon Byrd flies out to left field, where Willie Harris has it. Rauch gets another grounder to second from David Murphy to end the top of the ninth...Who gets the walk-off? Kory Casto chases a two-strike splitter for a swinging strike three. Felipe Lopez lines the first pitch out to left. Willie Harris flies out to right. Extries...
...Saul “Sa-ool” Rivera is up to pitch the tenth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounds out to first, DY tosses to Rivera covering. Ramon Vazquez grounds out to first, DY tosses to Rivera covering. Milton Bradley grounds out to end the top of the tenth. Rangers’ reliever Josh Rupe takes over for Texas. Cristian Guzman’s thrown out by Ian Kinsler for the first out of the DC tenth. Elijah Dukes? Lines to left, and hustles around first, sliding in safely just ahead of the throw. Lastings Milledge flies out to right. On to the eleventh...
Saul Rivera’s back for the eleventh. Ian Kinsler flies out to Milledge in right center. Cristian Guzman’s throw to first pulls DY off the bag, and Frank Catalanotto is safe on the play. Michael Young flies out to Milledge. Josh Hamilton grounds out to sec...Felipe Lopez boots it, and the ball flies out to center while Catalanotto takes third. Marlon Byrd lines sharply to third, Casto snags it and throws to first...in TIME! 3-3 middle of eleven...DY grounds up the middle for an infield single to start the bottom of the frame. Ronnie Belliard on to run at first. Jesus Flores singles to left, Belliard moves into scoring position for Kory Casto. Casto goes down swinging after failing to bunt. Felipe Lopez...grounds into an inning ending DP.
Saul Rivera’s back for the twelfth. Kory Casto’s immediately tested upon moving to first, where he fields David Murphy’s ground ball and tosses to Rivera covering. Saltalamacchia fouls into Jesus Flores’ mitt for the second out. Ramon Vazquez grounds out to end the Rangers’ twelfth. Rupe returns for the Rangers and gets a swinging K from Wily Mo Pena to start the inning. Ryan Langerhans called out on a check swing. Cristian Guzman grounds out to second. On to the thirteenth.
“Wild” Joel Hanrahan is on in the lucky thirteenth. Brandon Boggs takes a leadoff walk. Ian Kinsler gets the sac bunt down, advancing Boggs to second. Frank Catalanotto pops out to short center. Michael Young backs Dukes up to the wall in right, where he makes the play to end the inning. Elijah Dukes faces Joaquin Benoit. Dukes pops out foul of first. Milledge flies out to center. Ronnie Belliard strokes a two-out single to left field. Jesus Flores grounds out to short.
Joel Hanrahan gets Josh Hamilton (0 for 5) to chase a slider into the dirt for strike three. Hanrahan throws a heater by Byrd. David Murphy grounds back to the mound. 3-3 middle of fourteen. Righty Jamey Wright takes over on the mound for Texas. Kory Casto strikes out swinging over a curve...
...Felipe Lopez takes one off the foot and takes first. Paul Lo Duca walks to bring up Langerhans, who walks to load the bases. Cristian Guzman can win it with a fly ball...Guzman swings over a 1-2 curve. Elijah Dukes...rips one through the infield....and into left, GAME OVER! Walk-off RBI single, and the Nationals win 4-3 in the fourteenth. Elijah Dukes drills in the winner. Elijah Dukes wants to go home!!!
Nationals now 30-45.
Elijah Dukes - 5 for 6, .270 AVG in '08, 2 R, 2 RBI's, 1 2B, 1 HR.
Jesus Flores - 3 for 6, .308 AVG in '08, 2 RBI's.
Cristian Guzman - 0 for 7, 2 K's...still batting .312. (ed. note - "Did Guzman hurts his wrist sliding headfirst early in the game?")
Charlie Manning, Luis Ayala, John Rauch, Saul Rivera and Joel Hanrahan combine for 8.0 innings of 1-hit, 1 walk, 0 ER baseball after Tim Redding's 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER's, 2 walks and 5 K's, holding the Texas Rangers scoreless for 12 frames after their three-run 2nd inning. And all the Nationals' pitchers held Josh Hamilton (0-6, 3 K's) off the scoreboard, and limited the offensive-minded Rangers to 6 hits in 47 at bats over 14 innings.