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LaRoche drives in game-winner in 4-3 Nats' win

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Associated Press
April 16, 2011
— When Jayson Werth signed a huge contract with the Washington Nationals last winter, the team surely expected lots of big hits and solid play in the outfield.

No one could have anticipated him to score the winning run the way he did Friday night.


Werth, who reached on a throwing error by Milwaukee Brewers' shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt in the 10th inning, kept on running to second after the ball eluded first baseman Prince Fielder, stole third without a throw and scored on an infield bouncer by Adam LaRoche.


The 4-3 Nationals' win was an unusual one. None of the four runs was driven home on a base hit and they won despite getting just five hits.


Their win came after Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee held them to nine hits in two complete-game losses to Philadelphia.


"You've got to scratch out some wins when you're not hitting on all cylinders," Washington manager Jim Riggleman said.


Werth shocked everyone by dashing to third without catcher Jonathan Lucroy throwing.


"I just had something there," Werth said. "We're having a hard time getting the bats going. When that's the case, you have to do something extra a little bit."


Milwaukee reliever Zach Braddock (0-1), might not have thought Werth was going, but manager Ron Roenicke did.


"I could tell what Werth was doing. I could tell he was trying to time him, and he had him timed well," Roenicke said.


After the stolen base, the Brewers played a five-man infielder with left fielder Ryan Braun playing between first and second. LaRoche bounced to first and Fielder's throw home pulled Lucroy off the plate, and Werth scored the winning run.


"He's just fast. He's just faster than me. He was safe," Fielder said.


Third baseman Casey McGehee wasn't holding Werth on.


"We were going on contact the whole time," Werth said. "With him off the bag, I was able to get a bigger lead. The last thing you want to do is get picked off," Werth said.


Chad Gaudin (1-1), the Nationals' fifth pitcher, worked a scoreless 10th.


Tom Gorzelanny allowed two runs and five hits, struck out four and walked two in his second start for Washington. In his previous appearance, he gave up five earned runs in 5 1-3 innings. Gorzelanny was the beneficiary when Milwaukee's Chris Narveson allowed three walks in a three-run second inning.


Rickie Weeks had three hits including a two-run homer for the Brewers, who had won their previous four games.


The Nationals scored three runs against Narveson in the second. LaRoche led off with a walk. Singles to Wilson Ramos and Michael Morse loaded the bases, and with one out, Narveson walked Jerry Hairston and Gorzelanny to score LaRoche and Ramos. Morse scored on Danny Espinosa's sacrifice fly.


Espinosa was elevated to the leadoff spot and Ian Desmond took his place in the seventh spot in an effort to generate more offense. Riggleman said he hoped that Desmond, who is hitless in his last 14 at-bats, would feel less pressure batting seventh.


Weeks hit a long two-run home run to the back of the left field bullpen off Gorzelanny with two outs in the fifth. It was his fourth homer of the season and made it 3-2.


Weeks doubled with two outs in the ninth inning off Sean Burnett, who blew his first save after converting his first three. He scored on Carlos Gomez's single to tie the score at 3.


Narveson, who hadn't allowed a run in his first 14 innings the longest to begin a season by a Milwaukee left-handed starter gave up four walks in his first two starts. He allowed four in 5 2-3 innings. Narveson gave up three runs and five hits and struck out five.


NOTES: Brewers RHP Zack Greinke threw 30 pitches in a simulated game. If he feels fine on Saturday, Milwaukee will send him on a rehab assignment. "It was pretty good all around," Greinke said. "It might not be the sharpest or the best, but I'll be ready. I feel like I can execute some stuff, just get the endurance and hopefully get ready." ... Greinke thinks he'll start at Class A Brevard County. ... Roenicke said that OF Corey Hart, who's on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain, needs three or four more batting practices before he can be sent on a rehab assignment. ... Brewers OF Nyjer Morgan, who was traded from the Nationals last month, did not play. He's batting .476.



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