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Nationals rally to tie Royals, then lose it with some shaky defense
Santana had a 4-1 lead and two out in the seventh when Denard Span’s third hit of the day went for his third home run of the year.
Ryan Zimmerman followed with a single, bringing a visit to the mound by Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland. Harper then hit Santana’s next pitch over the fence in left-center, bringing Herrera in from the bullpen.
Haren entered the game 4-0 in six career starts in Kauffman Stadium and had never allowed more than two earned runs in K.C.
But that quickly changed.
On Haren’s third pitch, Alex Gordon hit the 11th leadoff home run of his career. After Emilio Bonifacio walked, Hosmer hit an RBI single. Hosmer was out trying to steal, then Moustakas singled and Perez homered for a 4-0 lead against Haren, who had been 4-2 since coming back from the DL on July 8.
Haren was in danger again in the second and was saved by a standout double play started by LaRoche, who dove to his right to grab a line drive off Gordon’s bat. From his knees, LaRoche threw to second base to double off Alcides Escobar.
After that, Haren allowed only two singles while going seven innings. He was charged with four runs and eight hits.
In the Nationals fourth, Desmond homered for the second time in two games. The ball bounced off the facade of the Royals hall of fame behind left field and was estimated at 431 feet.
Span drilled a ball off Santana’s right hip with one out in the third, the ball bounding all the way into foul territory behind third base while Anthony Rendon went from second to third.
But after testing the leg and visiting with the Royals trainer on the mound, Santana stayed in to strike out Zimmerman and retire Harper on a shallow fly.
Santana was charged with four runs and 11 hits in 6 2-3 innings, with seven strikeouts and no walks.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
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