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So the game went into extra innings. Neither team scored in the 10th, and Ray retired the first two Nationals he faced in the 11th. But his downfall was swift and painful.

Robert Fick blooped a single to left. Ryan Langerhans and Cristian Guzman each drew walks. That brought Lopez to the plate with the bases loaded and a chance to win it. Ray’s first pitch was a ball, then his second looked low to Lopez (though it was called a strike by Miller).

Lopez immediately started jawing at the umpire as everyone in the Washington dugout held his breath.

“You don’t want him to get thrown out of the game at a point like that,” Kearns said. “It’s a pretty big spot.”

With an assist from an intervening Acta, Lopez recovered. He took another low pitch, this time for a ball, then turned on Ray’s next offering and drove the ball just inside first base and down the line. Fick scored, Langerhans scored, Guzman scored and Lopez chugged all the way around to third, having channeled his emotions into something positive and having helped turn what could have been a disastrous Washington loss into an uplifting win.

“The credit goes to Lopez,” Acta said. “He’s the one that has the good at-bat and had that huge hit for us over there.”