WASHINGTON (AP) – The Arizona Diamondbacks extended their impressive start with a little patience at the perfect moment.
Nick Ahmed scored the winning run on a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning, sending Arizona to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday.
The Diamondbacks also got two solo homers from David Peralta in their second straight victory in Washington, making them the first NL team since the 1907 Cubs to win their first nine series in a season.
“Obviously it’s great to have a chance to sweep here, but if you can win the series and do that as many times as possible, you’re going to have a good team,” center fielder A.J. Pollock said.
Ahmed led off the 10th with a double off Sammy Solis (0-1). Peralta walked with one out before Austin Adams replaced Solis and issued consecutive walks to Jarrod Dyson and Pollock, putting the Diamondbacks in front.
Adams had a full count on Pollock before throwing an 89 mph slider in the dirt for the decisive run.
“I’ve got to go out there and throw strikes,” Adams said. “That’s what it comes down to. I didn’t do my job.”
After Solis walked Peralta in the 10th, righty Chris Owings was in the on-deck circle to hit for the lefty-batting Dyson. First-year Nationals manager Dave Martinez saw Owings and lifted Solis in favor of the right-handed Adams.
But Owings hadn’t officially entered the game and Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo stayed with Dyson when Adams came in.
“I was looking down at my card to make a switch,” Martinez said, “when I looked out I saw Owings and I saw the umpire with the lineup card and didn’t realize how he had come in so he was just marking the (mound) visit so I completely take ownership to that and that will never happen again because I’ll make sure I’ll look right at him and say ‘Is he in the game?'”
Washington dropped to 11-16 after winning the NL East in each of the last two seasons. It’s the first time the Nationals have been five games under .500 since April 2015.
“I got nothing to say except those guys in there are playing with heart,” Martinez said.
The Nationals are 1-8 in one-run games this season.
Yoshihisa Hirano (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the win. The Nationals loaded the bases with two out in the 10th before Brad Boxberger got Michael A. Taylor to bounce into a fielder’s choice to pick up his eighth save in eight chances.
Washington jumped in front on Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run shot off Patrick Corbin in the third. It was the fourth homer of the season for Zimmerman, who batted second in the order for the first time since 2015.
Peralta responded with solo shots in the fourth and sixth, giving him five on the season.
Howie Kendrick’s second homer in as many days gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead in the sixth but Pollock hit a two-out RBI single off Ryan Madson in the eighth.
Diamondbacks: RF Steven Souza Jr. (right pectoral strain) was scheduled to DH in an extended spring training game on Saturday… RHP Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery) felt very good after throwing batting practice on Friday, according to Lovullo.
Nationals: 3B Anthony Rendon (toe contusion) took pregame batting practice on the field and is eligible to return from the DL on Sunday. … RHP Shawn Kelley (right elbow irritation) threw in the outfield before the game, surprising Martinez. “I couldn’t believe he was throwing but he’s throwing,” Martinez said.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (2-0, 5.13 ERA) has allowed three runs or fewer in all three road starts this season and is 9-1 with a 2.20 ERA on the road since 2017.
Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 3.04 ERA) is 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA in seven career starts against the Diamondbacks.