Washington, DC – Adam LaRoche belted a three-run homer in the third inning, and the Washington Nationals held on for a 7-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game series.
Jayson Werth, Denard Span, and Ian Desmond contributed with an RBI apiece for the Nationals. Starter Gio Gonzalez (4-3) gave up two runs on nine hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings while Rafael Soriano allowed one run in the ninth but notched his 20th save.
"It's always nice, especially when the team well-deserves it," said Gonzalez. They go out there and play like this, I think it's always a pretty thing when see your guys play at the top of their level ... I tip my cap to them."
Martin Prado had a solo homer, Miguel Montero had two RBI and Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-5 and drove in one run for the Diamondbacks, who had a four-game winning streak snapped on Sunday against Cincinnati.
Arizona starter Trevor Cahill (3-9) allowed all six runs on eights and two walks through five frames. He's lost five straight decisions.
"I've noticed I've made a lot of my mistakes on my changeup," said Cahill. "Just kind of leaving it up the middle ... I don't know if it's me trying to do much with it or not."
The Nationals scored five runs in third. Kurt Suzuki walked to start the inning. After a sacrifice bunt by Gonzalez, Span delivered a base hit up the middle, scoring Suzuki. Anthony Rendon followed with a single and both he and Span advanced on a wild pitch by Cahill. Werth plated Span with a single to left prior to LaRoche's three-run smash.
Two innings later, Werth knocked a leadoff double, advanced to third on a LaRoche infield single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Desmond.
The Diamondbacks got on the board in the sixth. Montero smacked a one-out single to right that scored Aaron Hill, who doubled to left.
They had a chance to score more after loading the bases with two outs. However, Gerardo Parra grounded into a fielder's choice to second to end the inning.
Arizona continued to claw its way back in the seventh. A.J. Pollock singled to begin the inning and advanced to third on two consecutive ground outs. After Hill walked, Goldschmidt hit an RBI single to left. Next up was Montero, who reached first when Rendon failed to make a grab at second, scoring Hill in the process.
Prado homered to begin the eighth but the Nationals responded in the home half. With two outs, Steve Lombardozzi doubled to right that was just out of Parra's reach. Span then hit a line drive towards Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler, who was unable to make a catch, allowing Lombardozzi to score.
Soriano pitched in the ninth. After two quick outs, he gave up a single to Goldschmidt, who advanced to second on a fielder's indifference. Montero then delivered an RBI single to right. Cody Ross singled to left, putting the tying run at first, but Prado grounded into a fielder's choice towards Desmond, ending the game.
Arizona reinstated Hill from the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game ... The Diamondbacks did not have Eric Hinske (one-game suspension) and Ian Kennedy (10-game suspension) due to the brawl against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 11, giving the team 23 players on the 25-man roster ... Cahill raised his ERA in June to 9.30 ... Diamondbacks starters have failed to earn a win in 17 games. The last time a starter won was on June 5, when Wade Miley defeated the Cardinals.