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Washington Nationals drop series opener to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-3 in D.C.

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Washington’s Nationals went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and 10 left on base in a 6-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the nation’s capital.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark got up to a career-high 125 pitches over six innings of work, and left the series opener between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks down 4-3 in D.C.

The Nationals rallied to take a 3-1 lead on a two-run liner to center by Daniel Murphy in bottom of the third, but Jake Lamb hit a solo shot to right-center off of Roark on a 1-1 changeup in the top of the fourth, 3-2, and D-Backs’ catcher Chris Herrmann hit a two-run blast later in the inning that put the Diamondbacks ahead for good in what ended up a 6-3 win.

Blake Treinen gave up a run on an RBI single by Chris Owings in the top of the seventh, and Joe Blanton gave up a solo shot in the ninth, while the D-Backs’ bullpen held the Nationals scoreless over four-plus innings of work in the first game of the three-game set.

Washington went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and 10 left on base in the loss.

Nationals now 17-9

Here’s how it happened:

A.J. Pollock singled, stole second, took third on an errant pick attempt and scored on an RBI single to center by Paul Goldschmidt, whose nine-pitch at bat pushed Nationals’ right-hander Tanner Roark up to 26 pitches with just one down in the top of the first, 1-0.

Trea Turner doubled to start the Nationals’ half of the first, and after a walk by Jayson Werth, scored on an RBI single by Bryce Harper, who hit a 2-2 splitter from Taijuan Walker through the left side of the infield to tie it up at 1-1.

Anthony Rendon was 7 for his last 7 after he doubled to start the Nationals’ second, picking up where he left off in his 6 for 6 game against the New York Mets on Sunday, but he was stranded three outs later.

Bryce Harper walked with one down in the Nationals’ third, took third on an opposite field double to right by Ryan Zimmerman and scored on a two-run single to center by Daniel Murphy, who made it 3-1 over the D-Backs.

Jake Lamb made it a one-run game with one swing when he smoked a 1-1 change from Roark and hit a no-doubter of a solo shot to right to start the fourth, 3-2 Nats.

D-Backs’ infielder Brandon Drury reached on a swinging bunt with one down in the fourth, then scored on a two-run home run to left by Chris Herrmann, who hit a first-pitch fastball out to put Arizona up, 4-3.

• Taijuan Walker’s Line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 Ks, 117 P, 61 S, 5/1 GO/FO.

• Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks, 2 HRs, 125P, 77 S, 4/2 GO/FO.

Blake Treinen gave up a single by Nick Ahmed and hit Daniel Descalso, but he got a force at second on a grounder to short by A.J. Pollock before Chris Owings hit an RBI single through the right side, 5-3 D-Backs.

Bryce Harper walked with two down in the seventh. Ryan Zimmerman (2 for 4) singled to right field to put two on in front of Daniel Murphy, but Murphy went down swinging at a 2-2 slider from J.J. Hoover to end the two-out threat.

Anthony Rendon walked and Michael A. Taylor singled to start the home-half of the eighth, but Rendon was forced out at third base on a bunt by Jose Lobaton and two outs later, Taylor and Lobaton became the 9th and 10th runners left on base by the Nats on the night.

Joe Blanton, who gave up seven home runs in 80 IP last season in LA, gave up his fifth in 11 IP in the ninth, with Jeremy Hazelbaker taking the Nats’ right-hander deep on a 3-2 slider that put the D-Backs up, 6-3.

NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:

  • In today’s “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Washington is 47-32 all-time against Arizona, and the Nationals have dominated the D-Backs recently, with a 23-10 mark against the NL West franchise... since 2012, with wins in 14 of the last 19.
  • Washington’s 17-8 record to start the season is the best in the majors.
  • The Nationals start the three-game set with the D-Backs leading the majors in runs scored (170), AVG (.295), OBP (.369), SLG (.510), and doubles (58).
  • Ryan Zimmerman starts the day leading the majors in AVG (.420), SLG (.886), RBIs (29) and home runs (tied, 11), and extra base hits (19).
  • Anthony Rendon’s 6 for 6 day vs the Mets on Sunday took him from a .226 to a .278 AVG on the year.
  • Tanner Roark starts the night (1-1) with a 2.51 ERA in seven games (four starts) vs the D-Backs, with a 2.96 ERA in his starts against Arizona, over which he’s held D-Backs hitters to a .211 AVG.

Nationals now 17-9