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Nationals' Dusty Baker on not pinch running for Wilson Ramos, Ryan Zimmerman's blasts

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice and the Washington Nationals could have tied things up if not for a perfect relay from center that caught Wilson Ramos at the plate. Dusty Baker talked about Zim's homers and his own mistake after the loss to the Detroit Tigers.

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Clint Robinson's walk-off, pinch hit home run beat the Detroit Tigers on Monday night, even though he thought he was in the eighth inning.

Last night, with the score 5-4 Tigers after seven, he got a pinch hit opportunity with a runner on first in the actual eighth.

Wilson Ramos hit a one-out single to left off Tigers' reliever Alex Wilson and was still standing on first base one out later when Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker called on Robinson again.

"That was a poor decision on my part not to run for Ramos, but in that situation that was the only thing that could happen." -Dusty Baker on not pinch running for Ramos before out at plate

Robinson tore into a 92 mph 2-2 fastball, sending a line drive screaming out to the center field grass, where Anthony Gose caught up with it in front of the track.

Ramos motored around the bases and Nats' third base coach Bobby Henley waved him around, but a perfectly-executed 8-6-2 relay caught the slow-footed catcher at home.

"I don't have any problem with that," Dusty Baker told reporters after the loss to the Tigers.

"Because that was a heck of a relay. That ball was way the heck out there. They had to make two perfect relay throws to the plate. Got to give them credit on making a perfect relay play."

"If I had to do it over again, then I would have ran for [Ramos] at first base," Baker said.

"If I knew [Clint Robinson] was going to hit a double, then I would have ran for [Ramos]."

He had options on the bench, but since Ramos never advanced passed first base, he didn't use them.

"That was a poor decision on my part not to run for Ramos," Baker explained, "but in that situation that was the only thing that could happen.

"I was hoping that he got to second and then I was going to run for him, but he never got to second base. He got past second base and boy, that's tough to take."

Ramos finished the night 2 for 2 with two walks. Since returning from a stint on the Bereavement List, the 28-year-old catcher is 14 for 29 (.483/.545/.690) with three doubles and a home run in eight games.

On the year, the veteran backstop is 32 for 86 (.372/.407/.558) with seven doubles and three home runs in 91 plate appearances.

"I mean those balls were loud and they were hit a ton and they were on a line which is what you want to see. I mean, that's the Zim that I know and we know." -Dusty Baker on Ryan Zimmerman vs the Tigers

"Ramos, he's been great," Baker said. "He was good before he left for the funeral, but he's been even better and been great since he got back. You can't blame my third base coach, I'll take that one for not pinch running for him."

The Nationals got another opportunity to come back against the Tigers in the ninth inning.

Anthony Rendon doubled to center with one down, giving Detroit an opportunity to avoid Bryce Harper by walking him intentionally to bring Ryan Zimmerman to the plate, in spite of the fact that Zimmerman had homered twice already in the game.

Zimmerman struck out on a foul-tip strike three and Daniel Murphy lined out to center to end the game.

"I was feeling real good about it," Baker said of the ninth inning opportunity.

"Murphy has been swinging the bat great. He can't do it every time. Zim swung the bat awesome tonight, big time.

"That was a situation where no matter who was behind Harper they would have walked him with first base open, probably. But that's a dangerous thing too, because you're putting the winning run on first base."

Zimmerman, who struggled to make the Chicago Cubs pay for their willingness to walk/avoid Harper during the series in Wrigley Field, homered to left after a walk to Harper in the fifth and then went deep again with the bases empty in the seventh for his second and third home runs of the season and the 15th multi-home run game of his career.

"Very encouraged," Baker said of the signs of life and power from Zimmerman's bat last night.

"I mean those balls were loud and they were hit a ton and they were on a line which is what you want to see. I mean, that's the Zim that I know and we know. I'm very encouraged by how he swung the bat."

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