PHOENIX -- The D-backs made a lot of noise early, but it was a ground-ball single by Brandon Drury that snuck through a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the ninth that proved to be the difference, as the D-backs walked off against the Nationals, 6-5, on Friday night at
PHOENIX -- The D-backs made a lot of noise early, but it was a ground-ball single by Brandon Drury that snuck through a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the ninth that proved to be the difference, as the D-backs walked off against the Nationals, 6-5, on Friday night at Chase Field in what could be a playoff preview.
A.J. Pollock led off the ninth with a triple to center off Enny Romero, who then intentionally walked Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt to load the bases. After Gregor Blanco's flyout to left was not deep enough to score a run, Drury came through with the big hit.
"I was just trying to keep it simple. I was trying to stay inside of the ball and do what I can to help the team win a game," Drury said.
The game also started with quite a bit of noise from the D-backs' side, as David Peralta, Pollock and Lamb hit back-to-back-to-back homers to start the bottom of the first against Max Scherzer.
• D-backs go back-to-back-to-back vs. Max
"They beat me," Scherzer said. "That's what you get. Sometimes in this game, you get punched in the face. And you've got to be able to take it and learn from it. And this is a great opportunity for me to learn from, because there's things I did today that you could tell they were keying on."
• Scherzer recovers nicely after shocking first frame
The D-backs built a 5-0 lead in the first two innings, but Scherzer settled in while the Washington offense got going. The Nats scored a run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth and Scherzer (11-6) recovered after the rocky start to hold the D-backs scoreless in the third through fifth innings. Wilmer Difo's RBI groundout in the eighth tied the game at 5.
"That was a great comeback by us," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "...We just came up short. It's a great game to watch and participate in. We just came up short in the end."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Defensive gem: D-backs shortstop Ketel Marte, who made a nice play on Ryan Raburn's grounder in the seventh, turned in an even better one in the ninth. With two outs, Bryce Harper hit a rocket toward short, which left the bat at 106 mph, according to Statcast™. Marte played the ball on a short-hop with a backhand grab, slid on the grass in shallow left, got to his feet and was able to nail Harper at first, stranding Ryan Zimmerman on deck.
"He's an exciting, dynamic player that covers a lot of ground," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I just don't think people understand how hard those plays are; the second one in particular. A short-hop where he's moving to his right, away from first base. To put on the brakes the way he did and slide and get himself under control and throw an impressive ball across the diamond, that's exactly who he is and he's a special player."
Matching up: After the Nats tied the game in the eighth, they had a chance to take the lead with two outs and a runner on third. Baker sent Stephen Drew up to pinch-hit and Lovullo countered with Jorge De La Rosa, who got Drew to fly out to end the frame.
"He's that guy that has a heartbeat that never changes," Lovullo said of De La Rosa. "It doesn't ever matter what the situation is. Kind of under the radar, but one of those moments that's not undersold with us. Jorge comes in and gets a big out and keeps the game tied. That was a big moment for us."
"Let's go get a cheeseburger." -- Lovullo, on what he wanted to say to his team postgame
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Harper doubled in the fourth inning, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, a career high.
Nationals: Coming off his best start in a while, right-hander Tanner Roark will take the mound for the Nationals on Saturday night at Chase Field at 8:10 p.m. ET. Roark did not allow an earned run (three unearned) in six innings during his last outing against the Reds. He's aiming to bounce back after a dismal first half.
D-backs:Anthony Banda will be called up from Triple-A Reno to make his first big league start Saturday night when the D-backs take on the Nationals at Chase Field at 5:10 p.m. MST. In 18 starts this year for Reno he is 7-5 with a 5.08 ERA.
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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.