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Nats make it seven straight wins

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WASHINGTON (AP)

The Washington Nationals have their longest winning streak since 2005, and they're starting to feel just a little bit giddy. After their seventh straight win, Garrett Mock, who won his first game of the season and recorded his first win as a starter, recieved a shaving cream pie in the face during a postgame television interview. Not many teams who have won just 39 games celebrate as freely as the Nationals. Mock pitched six innings, allowing five hits, walking three and striking out seven in Washington's 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. A nice line for a 26-year-old, who entered the game with a career record of 1-7 and an ugly 5.27 ERA. It was so nice that he was downright gleeful when his clubhouse neighbor John Lannan ran up behind him and smashed the pie in his face. "It's really great. It was like a dream come true," Mock said. "I know it's a little different explanation, but it's been a long time coming." When asked what flavor pie he was hit with, he finally laughed. "Menthol - sensitive skin," he said. Mock (1-4) said he had no souvenirs from the special night: "maybe a sweaty uniform." Mock had help from Josh Willingham, who hit a two-run homer. The Nationals' seven-game run is their first since last Aug. 26-Sept. 1 and their longest since a 10-game streak from June 2-12, 2005. Mock pitched six innings for just the second time in eight major league starts. He allowed two runs on Mark Reynolds' homer in the fourth inning. Mock gave up five hits, walked three and struck out seven. Sean Burnett pitched two perfect innings. Jorge Sosa pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save since Aug. 6, 2006. The Nationals are 13-11 since Jim Riggleman replaced Manny Acta at the All-Star break. They're playing excellent defense, and their once horrid bullpen has tightened up. "Jim came in here and cleaned up the defense," Burnett said. "It was embarrassing. It's not acceptable for a major league club the way we were fielding." It took the Nationals until May 7 to win their seventh game, and now they've won seven straight. After two straight comeback wins, Riggleman could enjoy this one a bit more. "We were just better than what we were playing," Riggleman said. After Reynolds' 35th home run - second best in the majors - and his 10th in his last 12 games - gave the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead, Willingham's 18th homer off Dan Haren (11-7) turned the game around for Washington. Willie Harris followed Willingham's home run with a triple, and Harris scored on Alberto Gonzalez's sacrifice fly, and Washington led 4-2. Josh Bard connected in the sixth, giving the Nationals a 5-2 lead. Haren entered the game holding opponents to a paltry .198 average - best in the major leagues. He left after six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He struck out four, and lost for just the second time in his last eight starts. Arizona manager A.J. Hinch, whose team had won five straight until coming to Washington, has noticed that the Nationals are playing better. "They play with a certain life," Hinch said. "We'd been doing it the same until we got into these last two games. When you're having seasons the way both of us are having, when there's a little more life, a little more energy, the winning breeds that." Washington scored its first run in the first on an RBI single by Adam Dunn. NOTES: Washington RHP Jordan Zimmermann, who's been on the 15-day disabled list with a sore elbow since July 19, will have his MRI read by Dr. James Andrews on Monday. ... Arizona INF Ryan Roberts returned for Saturday's game after missing two games for the birth of his daughter, but arrived too late to start. He entered the game in the seventh. ... Nationals SS Cristian Guzman extended his hitting streak to 14 games. ... Washington 3B Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 12. ... Diamondbacks OF Gerardo Parra has hit in 10 straight.
Tagged: Nationals, Diamondbacks

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