WASHINGTON (AP) - Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson’s description of the decisive inning Monday night amounted to a contest between youth and experience.
Adam LaRoche hit a game-winning solo home run with two outs in the 11th inning to help the Washington Nationals beat the Diamondbacks 5-4 Monday night for their seventh straight win.
LaRoche’s game-ending shot came after the first three Diamondbacks reached base against winning pitcher Craig Stammen (3-4) in the top of the 11th, but Arizona failed to score.
“We had some young guys up there,” Gibson said. “They didn’t get it done and they had a veteran guy in LaRoche. He’s a good breaking ball hitter, and got one hung a little bit and he hit it out.”
Stammen struck out 23-year-old Jake Lamb and 24-year-old Didi Gregorius before pinch hitter Cliff Pennington grounded out.
“We missed our opportunity, me striking out instead of putting the ball in play,” Gregorius said.
Gibson was quick to point out the duo’s successes Monday night, as they combined to drive in three runs, two on a Gregorius homer.
“You’ve got to give them credit. They both contributed,” he said. “They’re younger, and it’s kind of an excitable moment and they’ll get better the more times they go through it.”
It was the third walk-off win in as many days for NL-East leading Washington.
LaRoche sent a 3-1 pitch from Will Harris (0-3) off the wall in the back of the Nationals bullpen and was mobbed by his teammates at home plate.
“I got every bit of it, I did,” LaRoche said after his first career walk-off homer.
Arizona tied it 4-4 when David Peralta led off the ninth with a solo homer off Tyler Clippard.
Washington trailed 3-2 when Denard Span doubled with one-out in the eighth against Brad Ziegler and Anthony Rendon followed with a triple to tie it. Jayson Werth then scored Rendon with a sacrifice fly.
Miguel Montero had three hits for Arizona, and rookie Ender Inciarte extended his hitting streak to 18 games.