- Court: Tenn. must recognize 3 same-sex marriages
- Russia claims to have downed U.S. drone over Crimea region
- John Daly shoots 90 at PGA Tour event: ‘I’m falling apart’
- Police: Man arrested in West Virginia may be linked to Alexandria killings
- Smile: Equipping cops with body-mounted cameras gains steam in Calif., N.Y.
- Obama to sign bill cutting taxpayer money for party conventions
- Half of Americans worried about second Cold War: poll
- Kermit Gosnell clinic aide who heard aborted baby scream gets 5 to 10 years in prison
- Iraq mulls law to let men marry 8-year-old girls
- Russia sends bombers on 24-hour Arctic patrol
In this setup, Nationals lose
Still, Balester gave the Nationals a chance, and after a slow start they eventually took advantage of it.
Washington had no trouble racking up hits against San Francisco starter Kevin Correia, who surrendered 12 of them in 5 2/3 innings. Runs, however, were a different story. Despite getting singles from their first three hitters of the night, the Nationals managed not to score (thanks to Willie Harris getting picked off first base).
They finally got on the board in the fifth when Bowker booted Harris’ groundball to first and allowed Ryan Langerhans to score.
The big hits, though, came in the sixth, beginning with Jesus Flores’ two-run homer to left. After a brief lull, the second-year catcher has caught fire again with nine RBI over his last six games. This blast tied the game 3-3 and set the stage for the Nationals to take the lead, which they did.
With a man on second, two outs and the pitcher’s spot due up, Acta elected to send up pinch-hitter Johnny Estrada instead. The veteran catcher has endured a wasted season to this point, spending two stints on the DL with an elbow injury and accruing all of 49 at-bats entering Wednesday’s game.
This, though, was precisely the kind of situation the Nationals envisioned Estrada thriving in when they signed him for $1.25 million over the winter. And sure enough, he delivered when called upon, sending a base hit up the middle to bring home the go-ahead run.
“It’s too bad he got hurt early in the year and he has never been able to get on a roll,” Acta said. “But we all know his history, and it’s too bad we haven’t been able to have that bat here this whole season.”
Estrada’s clutch hit put Balester in line for the win and set the stage for Washington’s new closer to finish things off. Too bad the old setup man couldn’t hold the lead.
“I’ve got a lot of things on my mind now,” Ayala said. “Mostly I need more focus and try to take care of my feeling and my confidence.”
About the Author
By Tammy Bruce
Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce are bossy women trying to ban bossy from our vocabulary
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- Deportations come mostly from border, DHS chief says
- Sam Adams beer brewer nixes St. Patrick's parade that won't allow gays
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- As Ukraine crisis simmers, U.S. transport planes heading to Poland
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014