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Washington Nationals Overcome Early Deficit For 5-4 Win Over The Minnesota Twins

The Washington Nationals fell behind 4-1 early in the nightcap with the Minnesota Twins, but the Nats rallied to take a 5-4 lead in the seventh when Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond hit back-to-back doubles to give the home team the lead. The Nats take both ends of the doubleheader with the Twins.

Patrick McDermott

Roger Bernadina played Chris Herrmann's one-out line drive to left on a hop and fired it back in after the first hit of the night for the visiting Minnesota Twins off Washington Nationals' right-hander Nate Karns. Joe Mauer, who sat for the matinee earlier today, was back in the lineup hitting third in the nightcap in the nation's capital. Mauer was 4 for 6 with two doubles and a home run in his second game of the series after a two-base hit in the at bat that followed Hermann's single. A HBP on "The Hammer" (aka former National Josh Willingham) loaded the bases for Chris Parmelee, but Denard Span charged and caught the line drive Parmelee hit to center and made a strong throw home that kept Hertmann at third. A pop to the mound by Aaron Hicks ended a 22-pitch scoreless first for the Nats' rookie starter. 0-0 in D.C. after a half inning vs the Twins.

Roger Bernadina hit an opposite field single to left with one down in the Nationals' first. Twins' starter Samuel Deduno's averaged 3.44 BB/9 through three starts and eighteen and a 1/3 innings this season. He issued the first free pass of the night to Ryan Zimmerman to put Jayson Werth in an enviable position and the Nationals' cleanup hitter came through with his third hit in four at bats today and his first RBI single of the night. 1-0 Nationals after one.

Given a lead to work with, Nate Karns walked the first two batters he faced in the Twins second, putting Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Florimon on to start the frame. A bunt by Samuel Deduno moved both runners up. Jamey Carroll, who usually does all the little things right, lined out to Ian Desmond at short for out no.2... but Chris Herrmann came through with a go-ahead double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right and the Twins took a 2-1 lead over the Nats. A two-out walk to Joe Mauer loaded the bases for Willingham, whose pop to Ian Desmond behind short ended the top of the frame. 55 pitches total for Karns after a 33-pitch second.

Jamey Carroll usually does all the little things right but he misplayed a chopper to third by Jhonatan Solano with one down in the Nats' second. A bunt moved the catcher affectionately known as "Onion" into scoring position, but Denard Span's groundout to third ended the home-half of the second. 2-1 Minnesota.

Chris Parmalee lined out to second on Nate Karns' 57th pitch. A 1-2 knuckle curve dove under Aaron Hicks' bat on pitch no.62 from Karns. Eduard Escobard singled to center on a full-count fastball on pitch no. 69 and Pedro Florimon hit no.70 out to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard for a two-out, two-run home run that gave the Twins a 4-1 lead in the third. A 19-pitch inning ended with a swinging K by the opposing pitcher, Samuel Deduno. 74 pitches for Karns in 3.0 IP.

Roger Bernadina buzzed Samuel Deduno's tower with leadoff single to center in the Nationals' half of the third then went first-to-third on a Ryan Zimmerman line drive to right center. Jayson Werth stepped in next and hit and 0-2 curve to right to bring Bernadina in and make it a 4-2 game. Adam LaRoche K'd swinging for out no.1, however, and Ian Desmond grounded into and inning-ending 6-4-3. 4-2 Twins after three in Washington.

Craig Stammen threw a quick, 10-pitch 1-2-3 fourth after taking over on the mound for Nate Karns. Samuel Deduno was at 70 pitches overall after he retired the Nats in order in a 10-pitch bottom of the inning. A 17-pitch fifth had Stammen at 27 pitches after he'd set six Twins in-a-row down.

Denard Span took a five-pitch walk from Deduno in the bottom of the fifth inning. A sudden rain storm delayed the game for 12 minutes... Deduno issued the second walk of the inning to Roger Bernadina when play resumed. Another error by the Twins' third baseman (who usually does all the little things right) allowed Ryan Zimmerman to reach first safely and load the bases for Jayson Werth. A 1-2 change from Deduno popped Werth up to the infield, but Adam LaRoche connected for a one-out sac fly to right to take another bite out of Minnesota's lead. 4-3 game in D.C. A high 2-2 curve from Deduno was called strike three on Ian Desmond and the Nats got just one run out of a bases-loaded, no out opportunity. Still 4-3 Minnesota.

Erik Davis took over on the mound for the Nats in the top of the sixth and gave up a leadoff triple on a fly to right by Eduardo Escobar that bounced off the out-of-town scoreboard in right. Davis yanked a 1-2 fastball inside to Pedro Florimon that knocked the infielder off his feet. A sharp grounder to first on the next pitch to the Twins' infielder was hit hard enough toward first base that Adam LaRoche could look the runner back and then make his way to the bag to get the first out. Fernando Abad came on to face pinch hitter Justin Morneau. Abad popped Morneau up with a first-pitch curve for out no.2 and Jamey Carroll, who usually does the little things right, lined out to a leaping Anthony Rendon at second... Nice grab. Rendon picked up a bat and lined a single to left to start the bottom of the inning. Jhonatan Solano flew unproductively to center for out no.1 of the Nats' sixth. Twins' right-hander Anthony Swarzak popped Steve Lombardozzi up to left for out no.2, but Rendon scored from first when Denard Span hit a two-out, RBI triple into the right field corner that tied it at 4-4 after six. Tie game.

Tyler Clippard surrendered a leadoff single to right by Chris Herrmann but got a line drive right to first baseman Adam LaRoche off Joe Mauer's bat allowing LaRoche to step on first for the double play after making the snap catch. Two down and a swinging K by Josh Willingham makes it three. 14-pitch inning for Clippard. Anthony Swarzak returned to the mound in Nats Park and popped Jayson Werth up to right to start the Nats' seventh, but Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond hit back to back singles off the Twins' reliever and the Nationals took a 5-4 lead in the home half of the seventh. #steak. Anthony Rendon got punched out on a check-swing strike three for out no.2, Jhonatan Solano grounded out to second to end the bottom of the bottom of the seventh.

Drew Storen got a fly to left from Chris Parmelee to start the Twins' eighth, then got over to cover on a sharp grounder to first by Clete Thomas that Adam LaRoche gobbled up. Eduardo Escobar stepped in with two out and reached safely on a two-out error by Anthony Rendon. Escobar took second on the E, but he was stranded on the basepaths when Pedro Florimon grounded out to third. Anthony Swarzak came out for a third inning of work in the Nats' eighth. Jeff Kobernus flew out to center to start the bottom of the inning. Brian Duensing took over and popped up Denard Span. Roger Bernadina K'd looking.

Rafael Soriano came in the top of the ninth looking for his 16th save. "Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!" Brian Dozier K'd swinging through an 0-2 fastball. ONE!!! Ryan Doumit grounded out to first. TWO!!! Chris Herrmann took a two-out walk to make it interesting. Joe Mauer stepped in as the go-ahead run, and lined to right to send Hermann around to third. Two on, two out. Josh Willingham? Pop to LaRoche foul of first. Ballgame! Nats win, 5-4 final.

Work's done. Untuck that jersey, son!!

Nationals 31-31