PHOENIX - At this point, it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone to see Tanner Roark get through six innings having allowed just one run on two hits and having thrown only 69 pitches.
The rookie right-hander just keeps churning out quality outings, going after hitters, keeping the ball down and avoiding mistake pitches.
He allowed an unearned run in the first inning after committing a two-base throwing error that led to Paul Goldschmidt’s sac fly, but since then, he’s shut the Diamondbacks down.
Roark has retired 18 of the last 19 hitters he’s faced, and has a 2-1 lead as we go to the sixth.
The Nationals scored their two runs in the sixth after the Diamondbacks committed two straight errors.
Tyler Moore reached on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Martin Prado, and then Zach Walters reached on a three-base error by right fielder Gerardo Parra. Walters’ ball could’ve been ruled a triple, but instead it’s just another error - the fourth we’ve seen here today - that brought in Moore with the Nats’ first run.
Steve Lombardozzi followed with an RBI single to left, giving the Nats a 2-1 advantage.
Jeff Kobernus is 0-for-4 but has hit three balls on the screws. Anthony Rendon is 2-for-3 with a walk. Lombardozzi has two hits. Tyler Moore has one.
Roark even has a hit himself and now is batting .286 as a big leaguer.
Update: The official scorer has made a scoring change and given Walters a triple on that sixth-inning line drive.
No longer is it an error on Parra, and Walters now has his first career MLB RBI.
Update II: Roark got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh, pounded his fist into his glove and got big high-fives from manager Davey Johnson and bench coach Randy Knorr.
His outing and season are now done, and the Nats carry a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth.
Roark finishes his season with a 1.51 ERA, 40 strikeouts, 11 walks and one home run allowed in 53 2/3 innings.
Talk about a tremendous rookie campaign.
He leaves in line for his eighth win in 14 appearances.
Update III: Ryan Mattheus allowed two runs on four hits in the bottom of the eighth, and the Nationals close out their 2013 season - as well as Johnson’s managerial career - with a 3-2 loss to the Diamondbacks.
The Nats finish with an 86-76 record, four games back of the final NL playoff spot.
Pitchers and catchers report in less than five months.