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Koda Glover blows save, Shawn Kelley gives up game-winning homer in Nationals' loss to Rangers

Koda Glover blows save, Shawn Kelley gives up game-winning homer in Nationals' loss to Rangers

WASHINGTON -- Robinson Chirinos nearly put Texas ahead during a ninth-inning rally that tied it, then hit a three-run homer in the 11th that sent the Rangers over the Washington Nationals 6-3 on Saturday.

Texas scored twice in the ninth to make it 3-all. Chirinos' bid for a tiebreaking sacrifice fly was thwarted by Washington right fielder Bryce Harper, who made a strong throw to nail a runner at the plate.

Washington almost won it in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Trea Turner bunted with a man at third, but pinch-runner Wilmer Difo hesitated going home and was quickly tagged out.

Pinch-hitter Joey Gallo doubled with two outs in the Texas 11th off Shawn Kelley (3-2). Following an intentional walk to Nomar Mazara, Chirinos drove a fastball just over the left-field wall.

Keone Kela (3-1) went two innings as the below-.500 Rangers beat the NL East leaders for the second straight day.

The loss was the latest stumble for Washington's shaky late-inning relief corps. Glover's second blown save was the 10th for Washington this season.

Shin-Soo Choo's leadoff homer in the ninth pulled Texas within a run, and Nomar Mazara's RBI double off closer Koda Glover tied it. Pinch-runner Pete Kozma later tried to score on Chirinos' fly, but was out after a replay review reversed the original call.

Adam Lind homered during a three-run sixth inning that began with Harper's double. Harper went 1 for 4 with a walk batting second after hitting third in each of his previous 52 games this season.

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez struck out nine in six innings, giving up one run and three hits.

Texas starter Martin Perez blanked the Nationals until they struck in the sixth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre (ankle) finished 1 for 3 with a walk and stolen base in his return to the Rangers lineup. ... RHP Tyson Ross (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery) allowed eight runs and 10 hits over five innings in his fourth rehab start for Triple-A Friday night. He will join the Rangers for their next series in Houston and discuss a plan with the organization, manager Jeff Banister said.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was not in the starting lineup for the 12:05 p.m. start following a night game. Zimmerman leads the NL with a .365 batting average.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Banister wouldn't commit to a Sunday starter before Saturday's game, but said RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-0, 4.08) is the leading candidate.

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (7-3, 2.35) is 3-0 with a 0.73 ERA and 38 strikeouts over his last three starts.

Related: Bryce Harper makes defensive play of the year with rocket throw

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Bryce Harper powers Nationals past Diamondbacks

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Bryce Harper powers Nationals past Diamondbacks

PHOENIX -- The newest additions to the Washington bullpen came through when called upon to help deliver a victory to their new team.

Sean Doolittle stranded the potential tying run by escaping a jam for his second save for Washington, and Ryan Madson tossed a scoreless eighth inning as the Nationals held off the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Saturday night.

"The game can really speed up on you once you start getting guys on base," said Doolittle, who with Madson arrived in a trade with Oakland earlier in the week. "The crowd and the energy of the stadium can kind of take over and ... you have to be mindful enough to step off the mound, slow the game down a bit, kind of press reset."

Bryce Harper homered and drove in two runs, and starting pitcher Tanner Roark struck out a season-high 11. Roark (8-6) gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings for the NL East-leading Nationals.

"Curveball felt good. Just keep the hitter guessing," Roark said.

Harper hit his 25th home run on a full-count offspeed pitch from Anthony Banda (0-1), who lost in his major league debut.

Chris Iannetta hit a two-out RBI double in the bottom half, but the Nationals opened a 4-1 lead with a three-run sixth.

Harper hit a run-scoring double and scored on Ryan Zimmerman's double, and Anthony Rendon beat out an RBI single that sent Zimmerman home.

"They had a young guy out there that throws the ball really hard, has good command. He's going to be really good in the next couple of years for sure," Harper said of Banda. "Just got him this time and got a few runs up there."

A.J. Pollock tripled in the bottom half and scored on Jake Lamb's groundout, and Arizona reliever Jorge De La Rosa got out of bases-loaded trouble in the seventh when he struck out Harper and Zimmerman.

Doolittle, acquired from Oakland last weekend, walked Lamb leading off the ninth. Iannetta hit a broken-bat grounder to third, and Rendon's throw to second went into right field for an error that put runners on the corners.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly, Chris Owings flied out and Doolittle struck out Ketel Marte for his second save with the Nationals.

"Madson's been great for us. Doolittle ... he never panics. It was great to see. It's a lot of fun to have a back end like that," Harper said.

Banda allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked none. He was optioned back to Triple-A Reno after the game.

"I felt confident. I threw the ball in the zone and kept attacking hitters," Banda said. "I made a couple of mistakes, Harper and the middle of the lineup."

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Nationals lose to Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion

Nationals lose to Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion

PHOENIX -- Three straight homers off Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the first inning had the Arizona Diamondbacks set up for an easy Major League Baseball victory over the NL East leaders.

Instead, they needed Brandon Drury's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 victory Friday night.

The home runs by David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and Jake Lamb to start their first at-bat helped stake the Diamondbacks to a 5-0 lead against Scherzer.

"We did a great job getting his pitch count up and also putting runs on him," the Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock said. "Great getting on him early. We would've loved to have (scrapped) a couple of runs in the middle of the game, but the key point is we won the game and we came through in the end."

The first-inning feat was the first in the majors since Baltimore did it against Texas on May 10, 2012. It was the first time in Nationals history (2005 to present) that an opposing team has hit back-to-back-to-back home runs.

The Diamondbacks last hit three straight homers on Aug. 11, 2010, when they had four in a row at Milwaukee.

It was the most runs allowed by Scherzer in a first inning since July 2, 2011, against San Francisco, when he gave up five.

"I had four pitches today. I was using them. They beat me," Scherzer said. "I just couldn't get the ball exactly where I wanted it. When you do that against this type of ballclub and these types of hitters, they are really good and they make you pay."

Scherzer's five runs allowed tied for the most he's given up in a start this season, and the five innings tied for his shortest outing of the season.

Arizona sent nine batters to the plate in the four-run first and the Diamondbacks made it 5-0 in the second on Lamb's RBI double.

Scherzer had allowed just one home run in 34 2/3 innings over five starts before he surrendered the three home runs on his first 10 pitches. The All-Star right-hander and two-time Cy Young Award winner was tagged for three homers in a game for the first time since May 6, 2016, against the Chicago Cubs, when he allowed four.

"I don't think I have ever seen a game starting off with three homers. Max hadn't seen it, either," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Peralta, Pollock and Lamb also each had a double, another historical first for the Diamondbacks.

The Nationals rallied with Daniel Murphy's run-scoring double in the fourth, then added two more runs in the fifth off Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley. A leadoff double for Matt Wieters led to Brian Goodwin's RBI groundout, and Ryan Raburn singled in Wilmer Difo with two outs.

Godley struck out a career high 10 in 5 2/3 innings, and allowed four runs and five hits.

Difo drove in two runs, one to cut the lead to 5-4 in the sixth and the other that tied the game on a groundout to first in the eighth.

The Diamondbacks loaded the bases in the ninth on Pollock's triple and intentional walks to Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt by Enny Romero (2-4). After Gregor Blanco flied out to shallow left, Drury bounced a single into right field for Arizona's third win in four games.