Maicer Izturis hit a bases-loaded single in the 10th inning and the Los Angeles Angels beat Washington 4-3 on Monday night, spoiling Davey Johnson's debut as Nationals manager.
Sean Burnett (3-4) gave up a one-out single to Alberto Callaspo and a ground-rule double by Peter Bourjos — his fourth hit of the game. An intentional walk to Bobby Wilson set the stage for Izturis, who grounded a 1-0 pitch through the middle.
Scott Downs (5-2) got the victory with a hitless inning.
The Angels were one out from a clean getaway in the ninth when closer Jordan Walden gave up a first-pitch homer to Danny Espinosa — the rookie's third straight blown save and sixth in 23 chances overall.
Espinosa's drive into the lower seats in the right-field corner was his 15th home run, the most among major league rookies.
Johnson, who began his new job four days after Jim Riggleman's abrupt resignation, is managing his fifth big league club at age 68 after stints with the Mets (1984-90), Reds (1993-95), Orioles (1996-97) and Dodgers (1999-2000). He took over a 40-38 team that entered Monday 8½ games out of first place in the NL East and had won 13 of 15 — including a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox in which the Nats took two of three under interim skipper John McLaren.
Los Angeles got its leadoff man on in five of the first six innings and snapped a 2-all tie in the sixth, as Wilson grounded a two-out single through the left side to drive in Callaspo and chase starter John Lannan. Ryan Matthews came in and walked Izturis on four pitches before retiring Erick Aybar on a soft line drive to shortstop with the bases loaded.
Ervin Santana allowed two runs and five hits with five strikeouts. The Angels right-hander, who has allowed nine home runs over his last six starts, served up leadoff homers by Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman in the second and fourth innings, respectively.
The Angels tied it in their half of the fourth with two-out RBI singles by Callaspo and Bourjos. Callaspo's hit got him out of a 2-for-34 rut. He finished 3 for 5.
Lannan allowed three runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings, after going 3-0 with a 1.18 ERA over his previous six starts.
Angels right fielder Torii Hunter didn't start for the fourth straight game because of bruised ribs, but came in for defense in the eighth inning. He ended up batting in the 10th, swung late at a pitch from Burnett and hit a vicious shot into the corner of the Washington dugout that almost took out Johnson — who had a relieved grin on his face seconds later.
NOTES: Johnson lost his first game with the Mets and Reds, and won his first game with the Orioles and Dodgers. ... Teams managed by Johnson are 19-17 against clubs managed by Mike Scioscia. ... Scioscia was managing the Dodgers' Triple-A team in 1999 when the organization hired Johnson to take over the big club. Bill Russell, whom Johnson replaced as Dodgers manager, attended Monday's game in his current job as one of 11 umpire observers employed by Major League Baseball to evaluate their performance. ... Scioscia was a catcher with the Dodgers when he helped them upset Johnson's Mets in the 1988 NL championship series with a clutch home run off Dwight Gooden. ... Nationals RHP Chien-Ming Wang pitched three innings in his first rehab start for Class-A Hagerstown, allowing two runs, four hits and no walks with three strikeouts. He is working his way back from shoulder surgery in July 2009, and July 4 will mark two years since he last pitched in the majors with the Yankees. ... Zimmerman is 11 for 58 with two homers and seven RBIs in 13 games since coming off the disabled list. He missed 58 games because of a left abdominal tear. ... Morse came in averaging a home run every 16.2 at-bats, and an RBI every five at-bats. ... A ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry, who last week won the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP.