Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa put in some ninth-inning heroics, but it wasn't enough as the Los Angeles Angels clip the Nationals 4-3 in the debut of new Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
With the Angels leading 3-2 in the ninth, Espinosa smashed yet another home run to add to his tally, tie the game and put the game into extras. Espinosa is now tied with Michael Morse for a team leading 15 home runs. Espinosa, Morse and Ryan Zimmerman all had solo shots during the game to comprise the Nationals scoring. However, the Angels were able to push a run across the plate in the bottom of the 10th off reliever Sean Burnett to end the game.
Starting pitcher John Lannan gave up more than two runs for the first time in seven starts and admits his pitches were finding too much of the plate Monday night. Lannan went 5.2 innings giving up three runs on 11 hits, walking two and striking out two.
Monday's game was a bit of a downer for Davey's debut, but the 68-year old manager while disappointed with the results couldn't have had a better time:
"I enjoyed every minute of it," Johnson said of his first game as a Major League manager since October 2000 with the Dodgers. "I probably went a little farther than I should have with Lannan. I wanted to give him an opportunity to get a win. But the bullpen did a good job, we just didn't hit with runners in scoring position."
"I still enjoyed that one even though it was a loss," the 68-year-old said. "It's a joy. I love baseball. I enjoy every pitch that's thrown. That never changes."
The Nationals fall to 40-39 on the season.