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Nationals win 9th in row, nip D-backs in 9th

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 20, 2014 at 10:47 pm •  Published: August 20, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper has a suggestion for those looking for the perfect word to describe the Washington Nationals' recent run of walk-off victories and nine straight wins overall.

Harper scored the winning run on pinch-hitter Anthony Rendon's single in the ninth inning as Washington edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Wednesday night.

"It's absolutely epic. That's the best word I can put out there," Harper said.

Five of Washington's last six victories have been by a single run, with four coming in its last at-bat.

"It's been incredible," Harper said. "This team has a lot of fight, a lot of heart. We never die."

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.

"It was different to say the least, but it was awesome," Rendon said of pinch-hit.

Neither epic nor awesome describes the feeling manager Matt Williams feels watching the slew of walk-off wins.

"It's gratifying for (the players), it's exciting for them," Williams said. "It's not a whole of fun in the dugout for the staff, but that's OK."

The Nationals had last won nine in a row when they matched a franchise record by winning 10 straight in June 2005.

The NL East leaders also extended their home winning streak to eight and opened up a seven-game lead over Atlanta.

Rafael Soriano (3-1) pitched the ninth for the win.

Arizona has lost five straight and is 5-13 in August.

"In the end, they out-executed us in every phase of the game," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "They pitched good and we didn't pitch good enough. They outfielded us. They outhit us."

Two of Washington's wins in this series have come in its last at-bat after Arizona tied the game late.

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