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Morse’s slam caps Nats’ wild win

Arizona scored three in the 9th inning to tie it

- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2011

PHOENIX — Rick Ankiel drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out walk in the 11th inning and Mike Morse followed with a grand slam, leading the Washington Nationals to a wild 9-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Managers Jim Riggleman of the Nationals and Kirk Gibson of the Diamondbacks were among four ejections, and Washington was hit by a pitch four times, including second baseman Danny Espinosa twice.

Arizona almost added to its list of 17 comeback wins, tied for the major league lead. The Diamondbacks scored three times in the ninth inning to tie it at 4, but the Nationals bounced back in the 11th.

Pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. led off with a single to center against Joe Paterson (0-1). Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann then hit for reliever Sean Burnett (1-2) and moved Hairston to second with a sacrifice. Roger Bernadina reached on a high chopper and Jayson Werth walked with two out to get to Ankiel, who walked on five pitches.

"You've got to overcome difficult situations," Riggleman said. "Great at-bat by Ankiel, that was the key."

Morse added his second career grand slam, a drive to dead center field for his eighth homer of the season.

Burnett pitched 1 2/3 innings to get the win and Henry Rodriguez retired the Diamondbacks in order in the bottom half of the 11th.

Arizona had won 18 of 22 to surge into contention in the NL West and looked primed for another dramatic win before the disastrous final inning.

The Diamondbacks got to Nationals closer Drew Storen for three runs in the ninth inning. They put their first three batters on before Juan Miranda walked to force in a run. Melvin Mora hit a sacrifice fly off Todd Coffey and pinch-hitter Xavier Nady tied it with a run-scoring fielder's choice.

"I made it tougher than it needed to be," Storen said. "I don't want to be taken out, that's just the guy I am. But I trust that somebody in our bullpen is going to step up."

Wilson Ramos hit a three-run homer in the eighth for the Nationals, who finished with 11 hits. Werth also had a sacrifice fly in the third.

Arizona's Kelly Johnson hit a solo shot off the foul pole in left in the bottom of the eighth.

The ejections became a footnote after the late-inning drama.

Werth, hit twice previously in the four-game series, was drilled in the arm in the fifth inning, above the same elbow that was struck Thursday night and caused him to miss Friday's game. Home plate umpire Rob Drake issued a warning to Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy.

When Kennedy threw too far inside and hit Morse two batters later, Drake allowed Kennedy to remain in the game. That brought Riggleman out of the dugout to argue.

Washington starter Jason Marquis was working on a shutout in the sixth when he hit Justin Upton in the lower back with a pitch. Drake tossed Marquis and Riggleman, who got in a few words with the umpire before departing the field.

Upton was hit with pitches four times in the series.

Having already given warnings to both teams, Drake had no choice but to eject Diamondbacks reliever Esmerling Vasquez after he plunked Espinosa with one out and a runner on in the eighth. Gibson was also tossed.

Ramos greeted Aaron Heilman with a home run to left field, and the catcher took his time circling the bases amid boos from the crowd at Chase Field.

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