National 2 Blue Jays 1
WASHINGTON — Adam Dunn swung twice, missing a pair of fastballs from Jason Frasor. With his third try, Dunn connected, erasing a season’s worth of extra-inning futility for the Washington Nationals.
Dunn hit an 0-2 fastball for a bases-loaded single in the 11th inning to give Washington a 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
“I was trying to get something I could hit in the air. The first two pitches, (Frasor) just kind of blew by me and I don’t really have a two-strike swing,” Dunn said. “But I told myself (to use) a more level swing and I just tried to put the ball in play.”
With one out in the 11th, Cristian Guzman knocked off the glove of Frasor (5-1) with a line-drive infield single, then Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman walked before Dunn lined the winning single down the right-field line off an 0-2 fastball.
“You never want to be the guy to blow it, but at some point somebody is, whether it’s their bullpen or our bullpen and tonight it was me . . . I made some terrible pitches. Just non-competitive, not even close,” Frasor said.
The victory was the Nationals’ third straight, matching a season high, and Dunn has provided the game-winning RBI in each triumph. Their previous three-game winning streak came from May 7-9.
Jesus Colome (1-0), the Nationals’ seventh pitcher, pitched a scoreless inning of relief. The Nationals’ bullpen turned in 5 1-3 innings of two-hit ball as Washington prevailed for the first time in nine extra-inning games this season.
“Finally, we win a game in extra innings,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “Usually when you have an opportunity and you don’t take advantage of it, it comes back later and bites you.”
Dunn, who delivered Washington’s first extra-inning run of the season, had a different explanation for the dry spell.
“It’s people trying to do too much — people trying to end it with one swing,” he said.
“What we do best is work the count, get on base. Tonight was a prime example. Goozie gets on, Nick works a walk, Zim works a walk. It puts a lot of pressure on that team.”
Toronto had a three-game winning streak snapped.
The Nationals loaded the bases in the fourth before taking a 1-0 lead. Josh Bard drew a one-out walk and moved to third on Willie Harris’ double down the right-field line. Anderson Hernandez was intentionally walked, but Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann beat out a relay on a potential double-play grounder to second for his first career RBI.
Rod Barajas’ RBI single tied the game in the sixth. Scott Rolen hit a leadoff single, Lyle Overbay walked with two down and Barajas chased Zimmermann with a run-scoring single to right.
Zimmermann gave up one run on five hits, walked three and struck out three. He is winless in nine starts since April 26. Blue Jays starter Brian Tallet worked five innings, giving up a run on five hits and walking three.
Washington wasted a go-ahead opportunity in the seventh, when Dunn was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Shawn Camp relieved Dirk Hayhurst and got Elijah Dukes and Bard looking at third strikes.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Joel Hanrahan got a fielder’s choice grounder, erasing a runner at the plate, and pinch hitter Kevin Millar hit an inning-ending flyout.