Tim Redding, Washington's starter, quickly gets two strikes on Los Angeles’ leadoff hitter Chone Figgins, but Redding ends up working the count full, and Figgins flies out on a low fastball. Erick Aybar grounds to DY at first. Garret Anderson grounds to second, Willie Harris throws to first, for a quick scoreless first half...Cristian Guzman works a walk to start the bottom of the first. Angels’ righty Ervin Santana drops a slider off the outside edge to get Elijah Dukes chasing strike three. Lastings Milledge gets a hold of the first pitch and drives it to center...and...GONE! LASTO!! Two-run blast on an inside pitch. 2-0 Nationals. Jesus Flores’ debut in the cleanup spot is quick, as he chases a few sliders. DY stares strike three into LAA catcher Jeff Mathis’ glove.
Torii Hunter goes back up the middle with a leadoff single in the second. Casey Kotchman flies out to center, where Milledge dodges late day shadows to catch it. Ronnie Belliard knocks down a ground ball and throws Howie Kendrick out at first. Gary Matthews, Jr. lifts a low curve for an RBI double to left center to halve the DC lead. 2-1 Washington. Tim Redding walks Mathis to bring up the pitcher, so that he can throw a fastball by him. 2-1 after one and a half...Ronnie Belliard pops the first pitch of the Nationals’ second out to center. Wily Mo Pena’s shattered bat FLIES INTO THE STANDS as he grounds out to the infield. Wille Harris does the same, minus the projectile bat head. 2-1 DC after two.
Lastings Milledge tracks down Chone Figgins' line drive in the top of the third. Erick Aybar finds grass in-between Milledge and Wily Mo Pena and drops a single right there. Garret Anderson lines to right, and Elijah Dukes shows off his arm on the throw in to second. Torii Hunter grounds weakly to third, and Belliard doesn’t even bother with a throw to first. Bases loaded. One out. Casey Kotchman pounds down on a low fastball and singles in one run. 2-2 ballgame...
...Fly ball to right from Howie Kendrick...Dukes lines it up, Garret Anderson’s gonna test him...Dukes catches and throws on the run, Anderson tags....and gets NAILED AT THE PLATE! Jesus Flores catches it just up the line and blocks the plate while applying the tag. “YOU’RRRRE OUT!!” yells the Ump...
...Ervin Santana gets the opposing pitcher swinging. Howie Kendrick backhands Guzman’s grounder to second and throws the Guzzz out. Elijah Dukes doesn’t fall for the 0-2 slider this time around, and he eventually works the count full, before Elijah Dukes’ Discerning Eye takes a two-out walk. Ervin Santana strikes out Milledge to end the third.
Ronnie Belliard catches Gary Matthews Jr.’s grounder on one hop and fires to first, in time! Jeff Mathis flies out to Milledge in center, and Tim Redding gets a groundout to second from the Angels’ starter to end the top of the fourth...Jesus Flores goes down swinging at sliders for the second time tonight. DY grounds out to second. Ervin Santana saws off Ronnie Belliard to end the fourth. Redding gets a fly ball from Chone Figgins for the first out of the fifth. Willie Harris makes the catch on a line drive from Erick Aybar. Garret Anderson grounds to Harris. 2-2 middle of the fifth. Wily Mo Pena misses two curves but lines Santana’s third pitch to right for a leadoff single. Willie Harris goes down chasing junk. Tim Redding lays down a successful sac bunt, but Guzman follows with a groundout and five innings are over.
Redding gets Torii Hunter swinging over a low bender. Lastings Milledge catches out number two on the run, tracking down Kotchman’s long fly ball. Howie Kendrick ruins Redding’s flow with a two-out single into right. Gary Matthews, Jr. grounds to Guzman, who takes the force at second to end the Angels’ sixth...Elijah Dukes’ Discerning Eye helps him draw a leadoff walk. Lastings Milledge lines over second, Dukes rounds the bag and heads to third, easily beating Torii Hunter’s throw in from center. Jesus Flores grounds out unproductively to short. DY gets the intentionals to load them for Ronnie Belliard. Belliard battles Santana to a full count and takes a bases loaded walk to give the Nationals the lead. 3-2 DC. Wily Mo Pena goes the other way, through second, Milledge scores. 4-2 DC after six. (Yeah, WMP!)
Saul Rivera drops a curve into the top of the zone to fool Jeff Mathis...Pinch-hittin’ Reggie Willits grounds out to second. Chone Figgins grounds to first and Saul “Sa-ool” Rivera’s got one scoreless frame....The Guzzzz and Dukes single in succession off Justin Speier to start the DC seventh. Milledge works a walk. Bases loaded for Jesus Flores, who goes down chasing a high fastball. DY pops out foul of third. Ronnie Belliard grounds out into Casey Kotchman’s chest, but Kotchman knocks it down and the Nationals waste a bases loaded, 0 out, opportunity.
Luis “Set-Up” Ayala is on to hold the lead through the eighth. Erick Aybar singles to right and moves to second when Pete Orr misplays a DP grounder from Garret Anderson. Ayala goes to a full count with Torii Hunter and pops Hunter out to the infield. One down. Casey Kotchman doubles off the base of the wall in right! Kotchman hits it so hard, there’s only time for one run to score. 4-3 DC. The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History is gonna try for the 5-out close tonight. RBI sac fly to center from Howie Kendrick pushes...pushes Lastings Milledge back to the warning track and allows Garret Anderson to tag, score and tie it at 4-4. Rauch gets a swinging K from Matthews, Jr. to end the top of the eighth a brand new ballgame. Scot Shields to work the bottom of the eigth for LA. Pete Orr strokes a line drive right into Torri Hunter’s glove in center. Aaron Boone’s 1,000th Career hit is a grounder to Chone Figgins’ backhand at third, which Boone beats out for a single. Guzman grounds out to first...(Congrats to Mr. Boone!!!)
Rauch is back for the ninth. Jeff Mathis swings over a slider for strike three. Pinch hitter Robb Quinlan flies out to Milledge, on the run, in center. Chone Figgins grounds to second, and Orr shovels the ball to Boone in time for the third out of the Angels' ninth...Elijah DUKES! Singles to start the ninth. Lastings Milledge grounds to short, but Dukes’ speed means no DP. Jesus Flores sees the breaking ball this time, and he goes with it, SINGLING TO CENTER TO SCORE DUKES FROM SECOND!!! THE NATIONALS WIN!! THE NATIONALS WIN!! 5-4 final.
Nationals now 31-49.