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Big inning dooms Diamondbacks in loss to Nationals

Associated Press Modified: August 12, 2012 at 12:18 am •  Published: August 12, 2012

PHOENIX (AP) — PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks were cruising along behind their young ace as a dust storm swirled through downtown Phoenix.

Then the dust settled, the Diamondbacks fell apart, and the Washington Nationals won another one, thanks to a five-run fifth inning that featured two Arizona errors and a wild pitch.

The Nationals, who extended their season-best winning streak to eight games, sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, and went on to beat the Diamondbacks 6-5 on Saturday night.

"It was really bad," Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said. "They got a couple of hits and then a ground ball that should be one out, then an error and then a throwing error by me. It was a mess."

Jesus Flores singled in the final and what proved to be the deciding run in the fifth. He also threw out Stephen Drew trying to steal second in the fourth, just the fifth time the beleaguered catcher has thrown out a base runner in 50 attempts.

Jayson Werth and Michael Morse each had an RBI double, and Ryan Zimmerman drove in two with a single in the uprising, a rally aided by two Arizona errors and a wild pitch by Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley (12-8).

Aaron Hill homered and Justin Upton doubled twice for the Diamondbacks, losers of the first two of the series and six of eight overall.

"To play as poorly as we did, it hurts that much more," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We are capable of much better."

Edwin Jackson (7-7) got the win despite giving up five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.

"The runs we scored definitely backed up a bad outing by me," he said. "I guess it was just good enough to keep us close. The bullpen came in and did a good job, as always. We were able to get a win. It wasn't necessarily the way that I planned for it to go, but somehow it worked."

Tyler Clippard threw a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 28 tries.

The Nationals, with a major league-best 71-43 record, stayed 4 1-2 games ahead of Atlanta in the NL East. Arizona dropped five games behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West.

Miley went 4 1-3 innings, his shortest outing since June 30, and gave up six runs — four earned — and nine hits.

"It is very frustrating," he said. "You go out and the team gives you four runs early. It is on me. I couldn't keep the lead. It got ugly out there. It was a merry go round and I couldn't put an end to it."

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