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Arizona Diamondbacks Split Weekend Series With Washington Nationals

The Arizona Diamondbacks fell out of top spot in the National League West this past weekend after splitting their four-game series with the Washington Nationals at Chase Field. The Snakes are now sitting a half game behind the resurgent San Francisco Giants in the standings.

There's no need to panic, as there's still four months of baseball left. If the Diamondbacks are going to mount a run for the postseason, however, they're gonna have to continue showing the same sort of hardiness they displayed during yesterday's extra-innings 9-4 loss to the Nats. 
Down by four runs in the eighth, Arizona began a game-tying rally when Kelly Johnson walloped his 11th home run of the season, followed by a series of events that scored another three in the next inning. Stephen Drew and Chris Young each produced a single, and both Miguel Montero and Juan Miranda got a walk, leading to a free run. A sacrifice fly by Melvin Mora brought in another, and some hustling by the baserunners after Xavier Nady's a fielder's choice knotted things up at four runs apiece. 

It proved to be a futile effort, however, as Washington's Mike Morse nailed a bases loaded grand slam in the eleventh inning to end the game. 

Speaking of nailed, both Sunday's game and the series as a whole featured an inordinate amount of players being beanballed, including four pitches hitting Justin Upton.

The Diamondbacks slugger was slugged by a beanball in the sixth inning, courtesy of Washingon's Jason Marquis, resulting in his ejection from the game along with Nats manager Jim Riggleman. Earlier in the game, Arizona's Ian Kennedy had plunked both Mike Morse and Jason Werth, which resulted in the home plate umpire warning both teams. Esmerling Vasquez later targeted Danny Espinosa in the eighth, which wound up causing his ejection along with D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson. All of these shenanigans came on the heels of Saturday's game, when Upton was hit on three separate occasions.

There also was plenty of baseball taking place between all the beanballs, as the Diamondbacks blanked the Nationals 4-0 on Friday night when Josh Collmenter threw seven shutout innings and Drew brought home the win with a three-run triple. Arizona then embarrassed their opponents again with a 2-0 win on Saturday night.

The Diamondbacks kick off a seven-game roadtrip tomorrow afternoon when they visit PNC Park to battle the Pittsburgh Pirates. Daniel Hudson (6-5, 4.22 ERA) will square off against Kevin Correia (8-4, 3.40 ERA). First pitch is at 4:05 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. For more information, visit www.dbacks.com.

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