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But having cut the deficit to 5-4, the Nationals could not push across the tying run despite a couple of golden opportunities. They stranded a runner in scoring position in the sixth and eighth innings, with Justin Maxwell striking out each time.

The rookie center fielder is 0-for-16 since his recall from Class AAA Syracuse, and he may be running out of chances to turn things around.

“Right now we’re probably just going to have to try some other alternative out there,” Acta said. “He’s very tentative. He’s not even pulling the trigger and swinging the bat.”