Nats Rally to Beat Phillies

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman (11) celebrates with teammates after crossing home plate in the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Philles in Washington, Sunday, Aug., 21, 2011. With Zimmerman are, from left to right, Jesus Flores (26), Sean Burnett (17) and Rick Ankiel (24). Nationals' Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch forcing in Zimmerman for winning run as the Nationals won 5-4. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Avoiding a close pitch led to the Washington Nationals tying the game in the bottom of the ninth. Getting plunked an inning later propelled them past the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Ian Desmond hit a tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning, then Jonny Gomes was nicked by a pitch from Brad Lidge with the bases loaded in the 10th, giving the Nationals an unlikely 5-4 win on a rainy Sunday.

    It was the second improbable victory in three games for the Nationals. They beat the Phillies, who have the best record in the majors, with a six-run rally in the ninth Friday night.

    "Any time you can beat what I consider probably the best team in baseball it's a plus,'' Washington manager Davey Johnson said.

    "There's just no give up in this ballclub. It's always fun to beat the best."

    Desmond was feeling like anything but the best after Saturday's game, when his two-out error led to the Phillies' first two runs in a 5-0 win.

    Less than 24 hours later, an RBI single by Michael Martinez put the Phillies ahead 4-3 in the ninth. With two outs, Desmond was down to his final strike when he instinctively avoided being hit by a slider from Antonio Bastardo, who pitched the ninth with regular closer Ryan Madson given the day off.

    On the next pitch, Desmond sent a soaring drive into the stands for his fifth home run of the season. The shot quieted the pro-Phillies crowd at Nationals Park and had Desmond shooting his arm into the air.
          
    Ryan Zimmerman, who hit a game-ending grand slam on Friday night, started the 10th with a leadoff double against Lidge (0-1).

    Michael Morse was walked intentionally and Jayson Werth, after striking out three times, singled to load the bases.

    Danny Espinosa fanned for the first out. A 1-0 slider from Lidge veered inside - and Gomes didn't budge.

    "I'm definitely hanging in. It comes all the way back to my junior college days. it was hard-nosed, dirtbag baseball,'' Gomes said.

    ``Normally, that's a pitch for me when I release it - I know what it's going to do,'' Lidge said. ``It didn't go where I thought it was going to go.''

    Gomes was happy it didn't.

    ``Getting hit was last on my to-do list that at bat, but it worked out,'' Gomes said.

    Sean Burnett (4-5), the sixth Washington pitcher, pitched a scoreless 10th.

    The win broke a streak of eight straight winning road series by the Phillies.