Reporting Byron Kerr
The Arizona Diamondbacks did it again. Riding hot pitching by Daniel Hudson and two offensive surges, the Nationals wasted a strong performance from Livan Hernandez in a 4-2 setback before 17,881 at Nationals Park.
Justin Upton’s single with one out in the fourth got the Snakes’ rally ignited. Following a fly out, Chris Young smacked a double off the deep left corner that Jonny Gomes’ bobbled, allowing Upton to score and Arizona led 1-0. Lyle Overbay added an RBI single and it was 2-0 Diamondbacks.
Arizona tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning thanks to an RBI single from catcher Miguel Montero, and the Diamondbacks led, 4-0.
Hernandez ended up lasting 7 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Hernandez threw 94 pitches, 68 for strikes.
The Nationals attempted a rally in the eighth inning after Wilson Ramos single and an Ian Desmond double put men on second and third with one away. But Rick Ankiel lined hard to the first baseman Lyle Overbay and Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to a fantastic glove play by John McDonald.
Then in the ninth with two away, Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes finally chased Hudson with back-to-back solo home runs, cutting the Diamondbacks advantage to 4-2.
But J.J. Putz was able to get the final out for his 32nd save.
The story of this series continues to be the starting pitching for Arizona. The right-hander Hudson, from Lynchburg, Va., and Old Dominion University, spun 8 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits, two solo homers, with no walks and six strikeouts.
The Nationals have lost three of their last four and ended a 21 inning scoreless streak with those two homers in the ninth.
Note: Outfielder Jayson Werth sat out with a mild groin strain. He is day-to-day. Stephen Strasburg will pitch five innings or 80 pitches Saturday night in a rehab assignment from Triple-A Syracuse.