PHOENIX - Talk about a roller coaster of a ballgame in the desert.
Four lead changes, four multi-run half-innings, 13 extra-base hits and a ninth-inning comeback that featured two solo shots from guys who started the season on the Nationals bench.
This one had quite a few twists and turns, all right.
In the end, the Nats escaped with a dramatic 6-5 win, thanks largely to ninth-inning homers off the bats of Danny Espinosa (a shot that tied the game) and Kevin Frandsen (a shot that gave the Nats the lead).
Rafael Soriano gave up two hits in the ninth, but notched his eighth save of the season.
Here’s manager Matt Williams after the Nats’ 11th comeback win of the season.
On the victory after a tough weekend in Oakland: “It’s a good win for us. We needed that. We’ve got two more that we’ve got to play well in before we get our off-day, but tonight was a good one.”
On the comeback wins still piling up: “We don’t want to rely on those, though. That’s not the plan. But those guys over there battle, too. They’ve made a habit of coming back late in games, too. So it was a good one for us tonight.”
On the effort turned in by the Nats’ bench guys: “They’ve been forced into action because of the injuries we’ve had. So they’re getting consistent at-bats, which helps. All that kind of builds on itself. Better timing, more a sense of feel of the game and all that stuff when you get a chance to get out there. We don’t want to rely on that, certainly, and that wasn’t the plan, but they’ve been doing really well.”
On Frandsen: “He continues to hit, he continues to do things well in the field and forces his way in the lineup. He’s been doing that a long time. It’s comforting to be able to have him play all over the diamond. You don’t expect him to go deep every night, but tonight he got a good pitch to hit 2-0, and he delivered.”
On what he saw from Jordan Zimmermann, who allowed five runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings: “Just up in the zone. He got a little rotational tonight instead of going downhill plane to those guys. His breaking ball, (Paul Goldschmidt) hit a fastball the other way, but Miguel (Montero) hit a breaking ball, (A.J.) Pollock hit a breaking ball for the single, so it just, there wasn’t any tilt. We had a chance to get (Jerry Blevins) in there against Miggy and decided we’d do it at that point.”
On if the extra rest factored into Zimmermann’s rocky outing: “I don’t know. It’s kind of the way that’s been forced upon us with the off-days. And we’re going to get another one. So it’s all these off-days in a month certainly doesn’t lend to normal rest, but nonetheless, he was just rotational. He was flying open a little tonight and the ball just flattens out on him, he gets up in the strike zone.”
On if Aaron Barrett is OK: “Yeah. He pinched the tendon in his knee, a little hyperextention and he pinched ... the patellar tendon, that’s what he was talking about out there. I’ll have to check with Lee (Kuntz). He may be a little cranky tomorrow, but I think he’ll be OK.”
On Denard Span (3-for-5 with a double and a triple) and Ian Desmond (solo homer): “Yeah, Spanny, the double he hit was a little unfortunate. Nate (McLouth) surely scores on that ball and it bounced over the fence. But yeah, he’s swinging it good. He’s seeing the ball good. Playing great center field for us. Ian got a changeup out over and hit it over the fence. It’s nice to see from both of them.”