Nats 6, Diamondbacks 5
Game in a nutshell: What could have been a nice pitchers' duel between Edwin Jackson and Wade Miley instead turned into a slugfest almost from the moment each guy toed the rubber in the first inning. Jackson gave up four early runs and looked to be in serious trouble, only to right his ship for a little while and reach the sixth inning. That bought some time for the Nationals' lineup to figure out Miley and torch the NL Rookie of the Year candidate for six runs (five in the top of the fifth alone). Perhaps the most credit for this victory, though, goes to Washington's bullpen, which managed to strand runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before Tyler Clippard closed it out for his 24th save. Thus, the Nationals extended their winning streak to a season-high eight games. At at 71-43, they continue to hold baseball's best record by three full games.
Hitting highlight: It's amazing what a difference some depth has done for the Nationals lineup. With Jayson Werth back healthy and just about everyone contributing in some way, the Nats are capable of exploding for a big inning at any moment. Which they did in the top of the fifth, plating five runs on five hits: a Steve Lombardozzi bunt single, a Werth RBI double, a Ryan Zimmerman two-run single, a Michael Morse RBI double and a Jesus Flores RBI single. Remember when it looked like this team was seriously lacking in offensive ability? Yeah, not so much anymore.
Pitching lowlight: This was a laborious outing for Jackson, who gave up runs in the first, second and third innings, gave up five extra-base hits and needed 111 pitches to navigate his way through 5 23 innings. Not that the start was entirely negative for the right-hander. He faced the minimum in the fourth and fifth innings and struck out three batters in a row at one point. It wasn't a high-quality start, but Jackson did manage to get past his early struggles and actually depart with the Nationals holding a lead.
Key stat: Jackson recorded the 51st win by a Nationals starter this season. That's only one shy of the team record for an ENTIRE season, set by the 2005 rotation.
Up next: The series concludes with a Sunday matinee inside Chase Field. Left-handers Ross Detwiler and Patrick Corbin square off at 4:10 p.m. EDT.