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Nationals Defeat D-backs 5-3 In Duel Of Young Aces

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Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Ian Desmond drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the seventh inning, as Washington edged Arizona, 5-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Nationals Park.

Josh Willingham doubled and hit a two-run homer for the Nationals, who ended a six-game homestand with a 2-4 mark. Ryan Zimmerman added a solo homer.

Stephen Strasburg, making his second start since a stint on the disabled list, allowed three runs — one earned — on five hits over five innings to take a no-decision. Tyler Clippard (9-6) tossed two scoreless frames of relief to record the win.

Adam LaRoche went 3-for-4 with a solo homer for the Diamondbacks, who finished a seven-game road trip with a 4-3 record. Gerardo Parra had an RBI.

Barry Enright went five frames in the start, giving up three runs on six hits. Jordan Norberto (0-2) gave up a run in the seventh to take the loss.

With the scored tied at three, the Nationals went ahead in the seventh. Norberto started the inning on the mound for the Diamondbacks. Adam Kennedy singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and crossed the plate on Desmond’s two-out base hit to right for a 4-3 lead.

Zimmerman’s blast off Esmerling Vasquez in the eighth gave the Nats a two-run cushion.

Clippard pitched a scoreless six and seventh, Sean Burnett tossed a spotless eighth, and Drew Storen retired the side in order in the ninth for his second save.

Arizona scored three runs off Strasburg in the top of the second. LaRoche got things going with a homer to right. After Miguel Montero struck out, Mark Reynolds singled. Stephen Drew then hit a dribbler to the mound, but Strasburg’s throw sailed over the head of first baseman Adam Dunn. Reynolds scored and Drew made it all the way to third. Parra’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0.

Washington got a run back in the home second. Willingham doubled and scored on Ivan Rodriguez’s base hit.

Willingham tied the contest in the fourth with a two-run homer to left.

The Nationals have won nine of the last 13 overall meetings between the teams…Arizona has won seven of its last 11 games despite the loss.