WASHINGTON (AP) - D'Angelo Jimenez's first hit in 20 at-bats gave the Washington Nationals a 5-4 comeback victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Jimenez lined a 2-0 pitch up the middle off LaTroy Hawkins (1-5), ran to first base, then was mobbed by teammates who sprinted out of the dugout to celebrate.
Austin Kearns led off the bottom of the 10th with a single to right, advanced to second on a sacrifice and took third on passed ball charged to Yorvit Torrealba. That's when Jimenez delivered, the last position player the Nationals had on the bench.
Before that at-bat, Jimenez was 1-for-25 overall in 2007. He helped make a winner of Jon Rauch (4-2), who pitched a perfect 10th.
Colorado led 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but the Rockies' last hit was Jamey Carroll's double with two outs in the sixth inning. After that, four Nationals pitchers combined to retire 13 consecutive batters.
The Nationals tied it in the eighth with help from an error by right fielder Brad Hawpe.
Reliever Jeremy Affeldt came on at the beginning of that inning and gave up a one-out single to Ryan Church, then hit Kearns with a pitch. One out later, rookie Jesus Flores lined a pinch-hit single to right, and when the ball bounced through Hawpe's legs and to the wall, both runners scored to make it 4-4. The stands behind the home dugout at RFK Stadium were bouncing, a rare occurrence this season.
Flores wound up on third, but pinch-hitter Nook Logan swung at Hawkins' first offering and grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. In the ninth, Hawkins walked two men and went to a 3-0 count on Church with two outs, but wound up getting Church on a comebacker to send the game to extra innings.
Colorado led thanks to two-run homers by Garrett Atkins and Troy Tulowitzki, plus Ubaldo Jimenez's five strong innings in his 2007 big league debut.
After the third inning, Colorado's pitchers didn't have to deal with the NL's leading hitter: Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young was ejected for arguing with the home plate umpire. Young, who came in with a .342 batting average, had his 10-game hitting streak end.
Tulowitzki's 11th home run came in the first inning, and Atkins' 14th came in the fourth - and both followed leadoff walks issued by Matt Chico, a rookie lefty who has won only one of his past 11 starts. He left Thursday after giving up four runs and seven hits over six innings. By the looks of things at the start, it appeared that his evening would be shorter and his line far worse.
Through 16 pitches, this is how Chico fared: walk to Willy Taveras, upper-deck homer to left by Tulowitzki on an 0-2 count, walk to Matt Holiday, mound visit from pitching coach Randy St. Claire, lined single to right by Todd Helton.
Ater Chico got Atkins to fly out to center, he got Torrealba to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.
Young, an All-Star, was called out looking at a third strike by umpire Rob Drake. Young said something as he walked away, and Drake responded. More words were exchanged and Young was tossed from the game.
Young dropped his bat and walked back toward Drake, getting close to the umpire before Church stepped between them. Nationals manager Manny Acta also intervened, ushering Young toward the dugout.
He was replaced by Robert Fick, who ended the top of the fourth by diving to his left to snare a hard shot down the first-base line by Taveras. Then, in his first at-bat, Fick doubled, and eventually scored on Ryan Langerhans' groundout.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)
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