WASHINGTON (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks proved they could hang with the NL East-leading Washington Nationals. That is right up until the last at-bat, once again.
The Nationals won their ninth straight game when pinch-hitter Anthony Rendon singled home Bryce Harper in the ninth inning Wednesday night for a 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.
Arizona has lost five straight, the last three to Washington, two by a single run. Twice this series the Diamondbacks hit a game-tying home run in the final innings only to see the Nationals ultimately end up with the victory.
"Of course it's disappointing," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "They've got it rolling and they overtook us again tonight."
Washington starter Tanner Roark outdueled Trevor Cahill and left after seven innings with a 2-0 lead.
The Diamondbacks tied it in the eighth on Ender Inciarte's two-run homer against reliever Tyler Clippard. Arizona also left a runner at third base in the inning before losing in the ninth.
Harper opened the ninth with a single off Evan Marshall (4-3) and went to third base on Kevin Frandsen's one-out single. Out of the starting lineup for the first time in 63 games, Rendon singled past third baseman Cliff Pennington to win it.
"Last at bat — it's definitely a game of inches," Marshall said. "The game plan was to go in there and attack (Rendon), try to force a ball on the ground, double play or at least get a guy in a rundown. He worked his hands inside the ball and kept it fair just right up the line. Nothing we can do about it."
Arizona fell to 5-13 in August and 1-5 against Washington this season.
Cahill allowed two runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings.
"It's tough," Cahill said. "They're a real good team. Two out of the three games I think we've battled them. We've shown that we can play with anybody."
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