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Throw in the latter stages of Redding’s outing and the Nationals at one point retired 21 straight batters from the best-hitting team in the majors.

“That’s why we ended up winning the game,” Redding said. “The bullpen guys came in and just did a [whale] of a job.”

But Washington’s own hitters couldn’t push the winning run across themselves, despite several opportunities. Dukes doubled with two outs in the 10th but was stranded. Dmitri Young and Jesus Flores each singled to open the 11th but never advanced because Kory Casto couldn’t get a bunt down and Lopez grounded into a double play.

The consistent Redding missed his opportunity to win Friday night, but the right-hander was happy just to have pitched. He arrived at the ballpark feeling queasy and didn’t know for sure whether he would be able to make the start until he took some medication.

“On the drive in, something just hit me,” he said.

Redding wound up being done in by one poor inning: the second. With two outs and a man on second, Washington elected to intentionally walk No. 8 hitter Ramon Vazquez and go after the opposing pitcher.

It was a perfectly accepted strategy that would have been effective if not for one small matter: Redding wound up walking Millwood, loading the bases and turning the lineup over.

Then with the count 1-2 on Ian Kinsler, Redding left a fastball up and over the plate, and the Texas second baseman roped it to right-center for a bases-clearing double. It didn’t help that Dukes missed both of his cutoff men, preventing any possibility of throwing out Millwood at the plate, but the greater mistake was Redding’s inability to retire the opposing pitcher.

“It seems to be my M.O. this year, to see how many pitchers can get on base against me,” he said. “I just tried to be too fine in a situation I didn’t need to be.”

That simple gaffe cost the Nationals because they managed just a pair of runs off Millwood through the seventh.

Then Dukes stepped up and reversed the course of this game while adding another positive chapter to his ever-changing life story.

“To battle back the way I did, I commend myself,” Dukes said. “Because I did what it takes to get better.”