Bryce Harper welcomed debuting Arizona Diamondbacks’ left-hander Anthony Banda to the major leagues with a massive, two-out solo home run to center field off the 23-year-old in the first inning, then doubled to left field off Banda to drive in a run in the sixth as the Washington Nationals put up a three-run frame that was the difference in a 4-3 win in Chase Field.
Tanner Roark put together another solid outing after snapping a five-start, and six- appearance winless streak last time out on the mound.
Roark went seven innings on 103 pitches, giving up three hits and two earned runs, while striking out 11 batters.
Ryan Madson took over on the mound in the eighth, and worked around a one-out double, and Sean Doolittle gave up a run in the D-backs’ ninth, but earned the save after making it interesting.
Nationals now 58-38
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Ranked No. 1 in the D-Backs’ organization on Baseball America’s list of Arizona’s Top 10 prospects, Anthony Banda, 23, was a Brewers’ 10th Round pick in 2012, acquired by the Diamondbacks back in 2014 in a trade that sent Gerardo Para to Milwaukee. Banda retired the first two batters he faced tonight in Chase Field, but went to a full count vs Bryce Harper, and gave up a mammoth home run on an 82 mph changeup. Solo shot, 1-0 Nationals. Harper’s 25th.
Smh that ball only had two days until retirement. pic.twitter.com/SkgamZNcXV— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 23, 2017
• A.J. Pollock singled to left on a 2-0 fastball from Tanner Roark with one down in the D-Backs’ first, and scored one out later on an RBI double to left by Chris Iannetta who hit an 0-1 fastball up in the zone by third to tie it up, 1-1.
• Roark was up to nine-straight D-Backs’ batters set down and seven strikeouts overall when he walked Daniel Descalso with two down in the D-Backs’ fourth, but he stranded the runner to keep it tied and complete four on 66 pitches.
• Chris Heisey sent a grounder by third and into the left field corner for a triple when Chris Herrmann struggled to recover it, battling with the outfield fencing. Bryce Harper doubled to left field on a first-pitch fastball in the next at bat, 2-1, and scored on a Ryan Zimmerman double to center, 3-1. Back-to-back doubles on consecutive fastballs from Banda.
• J.J. Hoover came on with Zimmerman on third and Anthony Rendon at the plate, and gave up an infield single on a grounder to third base, 4-1 Nationals.
• Anthony Banda’s Line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 82 P, 55 S, 4/5 GO/FO.
ICYMI: Bryce Harper turned his career-high 14-game hitting streak into a career-high *15-game* hitting streak. pic.twitter.com/as2ZgHEYi6— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 23, 2017
• A.J. Pollock tripled to center, just out of Brian Goodwin’s reach, on a 1-0 slider up and away from Roark, and scored from third on a groundout to second by Jake Lamb, 4-2.
• The Nationals tried to answer right back, with Wilmer Difo singling to left to start the seventh, and taking third on a one-out single to right by Brian Goodwin.
Chris Heisey walked to load’em up in front of Bryce Harper, so the D-Backs went to the pen for Jorge De La Rosa, who got Harper swinging with an 0-2 splitter in the dirt, and threw a 94 mph 1-2 fastball by Ryan Zimmerman.
• Tanner Roark’s Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 Ks, 103P, 66 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
• Ryan Madson gave up a one-out double by last night’s D-Backs’ hero, Brandon Drury, but stranded him at third two outs later.
• Sean Doolittle got the ball in the ninth and gave up a leadoff walk to Jake Lamb, his second walk in two appearances with the Nats, after he walked just two in 21 1⁄3 IP with the A’s. Chris Iannetta reached on an error on a force attempt at second when Anthony Rendon sent the throw into right field.
Paul Goldschmidt stepped in with runners on the corners and no one out, and hit a sac fly to right to bring in Lamb, 4-3, but Doolittle got the next two outs and the save.
Final Score: 4-3 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington dropped last night’s series opener, but since 2012, the Nationals are still 25-12 against the Diamondbacks, and they’ve won 16 of the last 22 matchups against Arizona.
- Washington has also won 12 of the last 17 in Chase Field, where Arizona is 33-15 so far in 2017, with the second-best home record in the majors.
- At home in Arizona, the Diamondbacks are ranked first in extra-base hits (207), and doubles (120), and the D-Backs are second in runs scored (284), runs per game (5.80) and SLG (.496), third in OBP (.351) and average (.279), and are tied for third in home runs (71).
- Washington’s 31-19 road record is the second-best in the majors, behind only the Houston Astros (34-11).
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL In AVG (.277), OBP (.345), SLG (.472), hits (tied, 925), extra-base hits (352), and runs scored (530).
- Nationals’ third baseman leads the NL and is ranked second in the majors in fWAR at (4.9), behind only the Yankees’ Aaron Judge (5.4).
- In today’s “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” update: Anthony Rendon is 37 for 93 (.398), with nine doubles, nine homers, 20 walks, and 22 runs scored... since June 15th.
- Nats’ starter Tanner Roark began the night (1-2) with a 3.12 ERA in five career starts vs the Diamondbacks.
Nationals now 58-38