PHOENIX (AP) -Arizona kept baserunners off the paths at key moments, limiting the damage when Washington's big hitters connected. The Nationals kept giving the Diamondbacks extra runners with sloppy fielding.
Not tough to figure out where this one was headed.
Barry Enright overcame two of Washington's four solo homers in six solid innings and the Diamondbacks scored four unearned runs off Washington's three errors in an 8-4 win over the Nationals Thursday night.
``That's what you have to do,' said Arizona's Kelly Johnson, who extended his hitting streak to nine games. ``When a team makes mistakes, you have to take advantage.'
The free-swinging Diamondbacks had another double-digit strikeout night, whiffing 12 times to push their season total over 1,000 and closer to the all-time record. Arizona offset it with the times they did connect, rapping out 13 hits to earn a four-game split.
Johnson and Adam LaRoche had three hits each and Justin Upton drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks, who were 5 for 17 with runners in scoring position after going 2 for 18 the previous three games.
Enright (3-2) made it possible, giving up solo homers to Adam Kennedy in the third inning and Ryan Zimmerman in the fifth, but little else to earn the win after two tough no-decisions.
``He was very efficient,' Diamondbacks interim manager Kirk Gibson said. ``I know he gave up a couple of home runs, but the kid has shown he can battle. It may look like he's struggling sometimes, but he really competes.'
The Nationals' pitching and defense never gave them much of a chance.
Zimmerman added another solo homer off Esmerling Vasquez to follow Roger Bernadina's the inning before, but Ross Detwiler (0-2) struggled in his third start since returning from hip surgery and the defense was abysmal at times.
The combination prevented Washington from winning its first road series since taking two of three from the Mets on May 10-12.
``I don't want to say the sky is falling,' Nationals manager Jim Riggelman said. ``We played bad defense for about six weeks straight from the middle of May to late June. Too many nights like that early on put us we are in the standings and we were making a lot of progress. We took a step backward tonight.'
After the game, Washington placed outfielder and leadoff hitter Nyjer Morgan on the 15-day DL with an inflamed right hip. He felt a sharp pain while jogging before Wednesday's game. The Nationals will make a corresponding move in the next few days.
These two last-place teams played in front of the smallest crowd in Chase Field history Wednesday night (15,670) and were greeted with another third-full crowd that was second-smallest in team history.
The few who showed up got to see a sometimes-stinky game filled with four errors, a botched squeeze and a strikeout that scored a run.
Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn had an ugly error in the second inning that led to an unearned run and two more scored in the fourth after Zimmerman botched a grounder at third.
All three unearned runs came with Detwiler on the mound, but those weren't his only problem.
The left-hander was hit hard, giving up an RBI double to Bobby Crosby in the second inning, run-scoring singles to Stephen Drew and Enright - after a failed squeeze attempt - in the fourth and another to Upton in the fifth.
Detwiler allowed seven runs on nine hits in four innings.
``If I get another groundball after an error tonight we can get out of the inning,' Detwiler said. ``I was just giving up hits after errors which hurt us even more. I need to come back and throw better pitches especially after an error.'
Arizona wasn't done taking advantage of Washington's mistakes, scoring two more odd runs in the inning off Collin Balester.
The first came on a single by Rusty Ryal that somehow trickled through the hole on the right side despite most of his bat breaking off and flying toward third.
Enright then swung on a 55-foot pitch for strike three, but the ball bounded past catcher Wil Nieves, who turned to throw home instead of first. Balester didn't cover and LaRoche scored, making it 7-2.
Enright was just right with his arm, though, preventing the Nationals from getting on base ahead of their home run hitters. He allowed two runs on seven hits after going winless his previous two starts despite giving up four total runs.
``You never want to give up home runs, obviously, but it's better when they're solo home runs,' said Enright, who joined Micah Owings in 2007 as the only Arizona rookie pitchers to have a four-game hitting streak. ``It was a struggle, my fastball command was off a little, but I tried to grind it out and give us a chance to win.'
NOTES: Arizona 3B Mark Reynolds was held out of the lineup despite tests revealing he didn't have a concussion from being struck on the helmet by a pitch on Tuesday. Reynolds tried to play Wednesday, but left in the seventh inning after feeling woozy. ... Zimmerman has 21 homers. ... All seven of Bernadina's homers have come on the road.
The Associated Press News Service
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