Jesse Winker's go-ahead home run rallies Nationals past Diamondbacks 3-1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jesse Winker hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning and the Washington Nationals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 on Wednesday.

Ildemaro Vargas added an RBI single for Washington, which has won nine of 11 overall and seven of its last eight at home. It was the Nationals’ 21st comeback victory, the most in the majors.

Arizona (36-38) was denied getting back to .500 for the first time since April 16, when it was 9-9. The Diamondbacks were hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position.

“This was a day about our offense for me,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Our offense had a lot of opportunities and we just couldn’t cash in that run or get that big hit at the right time.”

Arizona starter Brandon Pfaadt cruised through five scoreless innings in just 50 pitches, allowing just one runner to reach scoring position.

But with two outs in the sixth and Washington trailing 1-0, Lane Thomas worked a walk. Winker then ripped a four-seam fastball to center for his seventh home run this season. The left fielder is hitting .452 (19 for 42) over his last 14 games.

“He’s staying down on the baseball better,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s being more selective and swinging at pitches in the zone. He’s always been a good hitter. He had a stretch of injuries, but I love the way he swings the bat.”

Pfaadt (3-6) departed with two runners on and one out in the seventh. Vargas pinch hit and greeted reliever Kevin Ginkel by poking a single to right to score Keibert Ruiz.

Pfaadt allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits and four walks and had no strikeouts.

Derek Law (4-2) pitched two scoreless innings. Hunter Harvey worked the eighth and Kyle Finnegan tossed a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 23 opportunities. The Diamondbacks managed just one hit --- Corbin Carroll’s one-out double in the eighth — in four innings against Washington’s bullpen.

“Our pitching has carried us,” Winker said. “These guys have been unbelievable. Playing behind them, it’s electric.”

Arizona loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth and pushed a run across on Gabriel Moreno’s one-out walk. Washington starter Patrick Corbin ended the threat with a strikeout and a foulout.

Corbin, a former Diamondback, struck out a season-high seven in five innings while giving up a run and three hits with three walks.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: Lovullo said imaging on LHP Eduardo Rodriguez’s shoulder showed “significant healing, almost 100 percent healing.” Rodriguez, who signed a four-year, $80 million contract with Arizona in the offseason, has yet to make his Diamondbacks debut. Lovullo said Rodriguez is likely to throw off a mound within the next week.

Nationals: SS CJ Abrams was scratched from the lineup with a left hand injury. Martinez said Abrams underwent an MRI exam after the game. Rookie Nasim Nuñez started in his place.

UP NEXT

Arizona RHP Ryne Nelson (4-5, 5.49 ERA) looks to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season Thursday. Washington counters with LHP MacKenzie Gore (6-5, 3.24) as the three-game series concludes.

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