PHOENIX — Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore each lined two-run singles in the ninth inning to break open a close game, helping the Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Wednesday.
Nationals starter Doug Fister locked into a pitcher’s duel with Brandon McCarthy before Washington poured it on in the ninth.
Washington loaded the bases against Brad Ziegler (0-1) and Desmond ended the right-hander’s scoreless streak at 18 1-3 innings with a single through the hole on the left side. Moore made it 5-1 with a broken-bat single up the middle.
Jayson Werth homered and Tyler Clippard (4-3) tossed one scoreless inning for Washington.
Aaron Hill homered and made several spectacular plays at second base for the Diamondbacks.
Fister was sharp after a rough debut for the Nationals.
Acquired from Detroit in an offseason trade, the right-hander spent the first six weeks on the disabled list with a back strain. He returned Saturday against Oakland and was hit hard, allowing seven runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Fister worked around a couple of baserunners the first three innings until Hill, swinging on a 3-0 pitch, hit a drive to left for his fourth of the season.
Fister allowed five hits and struck out six before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.
McCarthy was hit hard by the White Sox on Saturday, giving up seven runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings.
The veteran right-hander was sharp against the Nationals.
Keeping them off balance with big breaking curveball, McCarthy was perfect until Desmond led off the fifth inning with an infield single up the middle.
Washington had a runner on third with one out in the sixth after an error on Arizona shortstop Chris Owings and a sacrifice bunt, but Hill saved a run with a diving stop in the hole on a hard-hit ball by Anthony Rendon to end the inning.
Hill nor anyone else had a chance to reach Werth’s tying homer in the seventh inning, a screaming liner to right-center that got out in a hurry.
McCarthy continued to get outs after that and got some more help in the eighth by Hill, who dived and scooped the ball in the same motion on a slow roller by pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen.
McCarthy allowed two hits and struck out seven in eight innings.
NOTES: Arizona LHP Randy Wolf exercised the out clause in his contract and was granted his release. The 37-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks after missing last season due to reconstructive elbow surgery. … Washington leads the majors in run differential from the seventh inning on at plus-38. … Arizona has Thursday off before RHP Wade Miley opens a three-game series against the Dodgers on Friday. … Washington has Thursday off and has yet to announce a starter for the start of a three-game series against the New York Mets on Friday.
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