Washington, DC – Ryan Doumit brought the go-ahead run home in the top of the 11th inning and the Minnesota Twins held on for a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals in the opener of a three-game interleague set at Nationals Park.
After Jamey Carroll's sacrifice bunt put the lead run in scoring position, Craig Stammen (3-2) intentionally walked Joe Mauer to get Doumit. Doumit then laced a single up the middle to put the visiting Twins ahead by a run.
Glen Perkins worked around a two-out single to notch his 13th save of the season and help Minnesota secure its eighth win in 11 games. Josh Roenicke (2-1) pitched a scoreless 10th to earn the win.
Mauer had three hits, including the 100th homer of his career, and Brian Dozier knocked in a run for Minnesota in the victory.
Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer for Washington, which dropped its sixth game in its last eight contests.
The Nationals hadn't played since Wednesday due to a pair of rainouts.
"We had a couple of days off, and I was a little rusty myself," Gonzalez said. "I was trying to find the strike zone, but that's definitely not an excuse for myself."
Washington trailed, 3-2, after six innings but pulled even in the seventh when a chopper from Kurt Suzuki toward short snuck underneath the glove of a charging Pedro Florimon. The hit went for a double and Anthony Rendon, who singled to start the frame, scored to tie the contest.
The Nationals, though, managed just a pair of singles over the final four innings of play.
Washington starter Gio Gonzalez put forth another strong outing, but still hasn't recorded a win in over a month. He struck out seven over six innings and was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on five hits.
After getting staked to an early lead on Werth's two-run homer in the third, Gonzalez lost the edge by giving up three runs over the next two frames.
Josh Willingham singled into left and scored when a grounder from Justin Morneau went underneath the glove of Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche. Morneau went to the second on the error and came around to score on Dozier's base hit into left.
Mauer then broke the 2-2 tie in the fifth with a solo shot over the center field wall.
"It's a big moment for anybody, 100 home runs," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He crushed it. We know what he is. He's a high-average hitter, a batting champion and he can do that every once in a while."
Saturday's contest was the first meeting between the teams since 2008 ... The teams will play a day-night doubleheader on Sunday to make up for Friday's postponed contest ... Minnesota starter Kevin Correia gave up three runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 frames. He struck out seven ... The Nationals were 1- for-7 with runners in scoring position.