For the second time in as many nights, the Nationals and Astros went to extra innings in Houston. And for the second straight night, the Nationals eked out a one-run win in the 11th inning, holding on after Roger Bernadina made one of the best catches you'll ever see running into the wall to end the game. Bernandina got a beat on a ball that was drilled to left center by Brett Wallace, crashing into the chain-link fence of the bullpen that is wedged between the padded pillars on the left field wall. Bernadina disappeared behind the pillar before slamming to the ground and rolling back across the track to hold his glove up in victory with the bullpen erupting behind him.
Much like Monday night, the Nationals offense struck early but then went dormant for the rest of the evening. All the scoring on both sides came in the first two innings until Danny Espinosa singled up the middle in the top of the 11th to put the Nationals ahead 3-2. Espinosa did all the damage for Davey Johnson on Tuesday, driving in each of the three runs.
Michael Morse led off the 11th by hammering a double to the top of the hill in straightaway centerfield at Minute Maid Park. Morse cruised into second, where he was quickly replaced by pinch runner and new National Cesar Izturis. Bernadina pounded a bunt into the dirt to the left side and sacrificed Izturis over to third, setting up Espinosa with the chance for the game-winner. With the infield in, Espinosa perfectly placed one up the middle. The ball went over the mound and past the infielders to ricochet off second base, allowing Izturis to score easily from third.
With the tie finally broken, Tyler Clippard charged out of the pen looking to make up for his blown save on Monday night. He certainly made things interesting. Clippard gave up a lead-off single to Steve Moore that went off the top of the glove of Izturis at second. After retiring two, Clippard got a bit wild and issued a walk to Carlos Corporan setting up the Wallace at-bat and incredible Bernadina catch that handed the Nats' closer his 23rd save.
Before the madness of extra innings, Ross Detwiler gave up only three hits in seven innings of work, backing up his tremendous outing against the Phillies last week. Unfortunately for Detwiler, one of those three hits was a two-run homer to Ben Francisco in the top of the first. Those were the only runs he allowed all evening as he cruised deep into the game.
The offense couldn't pick up their starter, however, as the lineup went quiet after an Espinosa blast in the top of the second. The Nats' second baseman stepped in against Jordan Lyles and took the first pitch over the right field wall with Bernadina on first. The two-out homer tied it up at 2-2, where it remained knotted until the eventful 11th inning.
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