4:09, END 10: It’s a 4-3 loss for the Nationals, after Atahulapa Severino gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the 10th. The key play was an error by Nationals third baseman Mark Teahan, who booted a Melky Mesa ground ball, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. Two batters later, a sacrifice fly by Brendan Laird ended the game.
3:40, TOP 9: We’re tied here at 3, as the top of the ninth gets underway. The Yankees tied the score in the fifth, on Alex Rodriguez’s towering two-run homer off Craig Stammen. Bryce Harper is now 1-for-3, having singled against Phil Hughes off the glove of Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira.
2:22, BOT 4: Gio Gonzalez is out of the game now, after giving up a pair of walks in the fourth. His line: 3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (plus two runners on base who are his responsibility), 3 BB, 6 K. He threw 69 pitches, including 39 strikes. Craig Stammen is in to pitch for the Nationals.
1:57, MID 3: The Nationals are bashing Sabathia around a little here, having already scored twice in the first inning, with Ian Desmond and Jesus Flores contributing doubles, and once more here in the third, on Steve Lombardozzi’s solo homer on an 0-2 pitch. The Nationals are leading, 3-1, as we head to the bottom of the third. In his only plate appearance so far, Bryce Harper struck out against Sabathia in the second.
Meantime, Gio Gonzalez looked sharp as ever in his first trip through the Yankees' batting order. He gave up a run in the first on Curtis Granderson’s infield single and a not-very-well-struck double in the left-field corner by Robinson Cano. But Cano’s double was the only ball that has left the infield against Gonzalez, who also has four strikeouts through two innings. He was helped in the second, by a fabulous diving stop at third base by Lombardozzi.
PREGAME: Remember when Bryce Harper tweeted out his love for CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees? Well, today he will stand in the batter’s box at George M. Steinbrenner Field and face Sabathia and the Yankees. Since Sabathia is one of the toughest lefties in the majors, this could arguably be the toughest matchup of Harper’s career. The 19-year-old phenom is batting eighth and playing center field for the Nationals.
By the way, speaking of tough lefties, the Yankees just dropped a bit of a newsy bombshell — saying they are signing retired lefty Andy Pettite to a minor-league contract, as Pettitte attempts to make a comeback at age 39.
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