Diamondbacks 8, Nationals 4

Arizona kept baserunners off the paths at key moments, limiting

the damage when Washington’s big hitters connected. The Nationals

kept giving the Diamondbacks extra runners with sloppy

fielding.

Not tough to figure out where this one was headed.

Barry Enright overcame two of Washington’s four solo homers in

six solid innings and the Diamondbacks scored four unearned runs

off Washington’s three errors in an 8-4 win over the Nationals

Thursday night.

”That’s what you have to do,” said Arizona’s Kelly Johnson,

who extended his hitting streak to nine games. ”When a team makes

mistakes, you have to take advantage.”

The free-swinging Diamondbacks had another double-digit

strikeout night, whiffing 12 times to push their season total over

1,000 and closer to the all-time record. Arizona offset it with the

times they did connect, rapping out 13 hits to earn a four-game

split.

Johnson and Adam LaRoche had three hits each and Justin Upton

drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks, who were 5 for 17 with

runners in scoring position after going 2 for 18 the previous three

games.

Enright (3-2) made it possible, giving up solo homers to Adam

Kennedy in the third inning and Ryan Zimmerman in the fifth, but

little else to earn the win after two tough no-decisions.

”He was very efficient,” Diamondbacks interim manager Kirk

Gibson said. ”I know he gave up a couple of home runs, but the kid

has shown he can battle. It may look like he’s struggling

sometimes, but he really competes.”

The Nationals’ pitching and defense never gave them much of a

chance.

Zimmerman added another solo homer off Esmerling Vasquez to

follow Roger Bernadina’s the inning before, but Ross Detwiler (0-2)

struggled in his third start since returning from hip surgery and

the defense was abysmal at times.

The combination prevented Washington from winning its first road

series since taking two of three from the Mets on May 10-12.

”I don’t want to say the sky is falling,” Nationals manager

Jim Riggelman said. ”We played bad defense for about six weeks

straight from the middle of May to late June. Too many nights like

that early on put us we are in the standings and we were making a

lot of progress. We took a step backward tonight.”

After the game, Washington placed outfielder and leadoff hitter

Nyjer Morgan on the 15-day DL with an inflamed right hip. He felt a

sharp pain while jogging before Wednesday’s game. The Nationals

will make a corresponding move in the next few days.

These two last-place teams played in front of the smallest crowd

in Chase Field history Wednesday night (15,670) and were greeted

with another third-full crowd that was second-smallest in team

history.

The few who showed up got to see a sometimes-stinky game filled

with four errors, a botched squeeze and a strikeout that scored a

run.

Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn had an ugly error in the

second inning that led to an unearned run and two more scored in

the fourth after Zimmerman botched a grounder at third.

All three unearned runs came with Detwiler on the mound, but

those weren’t his only problem.

The left-hander was hit hard, giving up an RBI double to Bobby

Crosby in the second inning, run-scoring singles to Stephen Drew

and Enright – after a failed squeeze attempt – in the fourth and

another to Upton in the fifth.

Detwiler allowed seven runs on nine hits in four innings.

”If I get another groundball after an error tonight we can get

out of the inning,” Detwiler said. ”I was just giving up hits

after errors which hurt us even more. I need to come back and throw

better pitches especially after an error.”

Arizona wasn’t done taking advantage of Washington’s mistakes,

scoring two more odd runs in the inning off Collin Balester.

The first came on a single by Rusty Ryal that somehow trickled

through the hole on the right side despite most of his bat breaking

off and flying toward third.

Enright then swung on a 55-foot pitch for strike three, but the

ball bounded past catcher Wil Nieves, who turned to throw home

instead of first. Balester didn’t cover and LaRoche scored, making

it 7-2.

Enright was just right with his arm, though, preventing the

Nationals from getting on base ahead of their home run hitters. He

allowed two runs on seven hits after going winless his previous two

starts despite giving up four total runs.

”You never want to give up home runs, obviously, but it’s

better when they’re solo home runs,” said Enright, who joined

Micah Owings in 2007 as the only Arizona rookie pitchers to have a

four-game hitting streak. ”It was a struggle, my fastball command

was off a little, but I tried to grind it out and give us a chance

to win.”

NOTES: Arizona 3B Mark Reynolds was held out of the lineup

despite tests revealing he didn’t have a concussion from being

struck on the helmet by a pitch on Tuesday. Reynolds tried to play

Wednesday, but left in the seventh inning after feeling woozy. …

Zimmerman has 21 homers. … All seven of Bernadina’s homers have

come on the road.