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Nats alone in 1st place after edging Yanks late

WASHINGTON -- Denard Span's single broke a tie in the seventh inning and helped the Nationals edge the Yankees, 3-2, at Nationals Park on Wednesday night.

With the bases loaded, one out and left-hander Justin Wilson on the mound, Span singled to left field, scoring Wilson Ramos, who saw his hitting streak halted at 19 games.

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WASHINGTON -- Denard Span's single broke a tie in the seventh inning and helped the Nationals edge the Yankees, 3-2, at Nationals Park on Wednesday night.

With the bases loaded, one out and left-hander Justin Wilson on the mound, Span singled to left field, scoring Wilson Ramos, who saw his hitting streak halted at 19 games.

Full Game Coverage

Drew Storen struck out Alex Rodriguez with a runner on first to earn his 12th save.

Video: NYY@WSH: Storen strikes out A-Rod to end the game

With the victory, that saw Bryce Harper and manager Matt Williams ejected in the third inning, the Nationals won their fifth straight game and seventh straight series. They are in sole possession of first place in the National League East after the Mets were pounded by the Cardinals, 9-0, at Citi Field.

Video: NYY@WSH: Harper, Williams get ejected in the 3rd

The Yankees have lost seven of their last eight games, concluding a three-city, nine-game road trip.

"We've played tight games," Yankees catcher Brian McCann said. "It's not like we've played really bad baseball, we just haven't had the big hit. All the games we've played this road trip, I feel like have been within a couple of runs other than maybe one or two games. It's going to be nice getting back home and starting over after this off-day."

Nats use long ball, then rally: Washington scored its first two runs on home runs by Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore before the single by Span, who has reached base in 22 of 24 games since he returned from the disabled list.

Video: NYY@WSH: Moore's solo shot ties the game

Zimmermann has solid outing: Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann got off to a slow start, allowing two runs in the first inning. But he shut out the Yankees for the next six innings before leaving for a pinch-hitter.

"Everything was working. I had pretty good stuff tonight," Zimmermann said. "First inning was just, they were on the fastball and I just left a few over the middle. I like to try and go a few innings with just the fastball, and I had to break everything out right away after the first. I told myself, 'I gotta hold them here, we're going to score runs.' And I was able to do that." More >

Video: NYY@WSH: Zimmermann fans six over seven innings

Warren's piece: For the second consecutive outing, Warren turned in a quality start, but the Yanks' seventh-inning defensive issues saddled him with a loss. Warren permitted three runs (two earned) with four walks and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings of work, serving up two homers and exiting after issuing a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Dan Uggla.

"I thought I pitched pretty well; just frustrating the way I finished," Warren said. "I tried to do too much with some pitches, especially against Uggla 0-2, trying to make the perfect pitch instead of just staying with the game plan."

Video: NYY@WSH: Warren throws 6 1/3 quality frames vs. Nats

No glove love: Yankees third baseman Chase Headley committed his team-leading ninth error opening the seventh, booting a Ramos grounder.

Video: NYY@WSH: Headley falls over trying to field ball

Headley redeemed himself later in the inning with a diving stab of Danny Espinosa's bunt attempt, but the Yankees were left to wonder how things might have gone if right fielder Carlos Beltran had been able to chase down an Uggla foul pop that landed untouched in foul territory.

Video: NYY@WSH: Headley dives to catch Espinosa's bunt

"Once I felt the warning track, I thought it was closer to the wall, so that's why I didn't dive for that ball," Beltran said. "At the end of the day, I was surprised that I was able to get that far."

Video: NYY@WSH: Beltran misses the catch on a popup

Desmond has hit safely in six straight games. In those games, Desmond is 9-for-26 (.346).

'When Desi starts driving the ball in the middle of the diamond, he is seeing it better, and he is staying on the baseball," Williams said.

Video: NYY@WSH: Desmond crushes solo homer in the 1st

Harper and Williams were tossed in the third inning. While facing Warren, Harper took a called first strike, and there appeared to be some arguing from Harper and the dugout. Harper stepped out of the batter's box, and when directed to get back in by home-plate umpire Marvin Hudson, Harper gestured toward the plate and was ejected. Williams then came out and argued, and he, too, was thrown out.

Video: NYY@WSH: Harper, Williams react to getting tossed

"Doggone it, [Harper] is our best player and arguably the best player on the planet, and we need him in the game, and I don't feel there was any means to throw him out," Williams said. "That's why I went out and argued." More >

Video: MLB Tonight on events leading to Harper's ejection

The Yankees successfully challenged a call in the fifth inning, as Mark Teixeira believed he had tagged Span diving back into first base on a throw from McCann. After a review of just 31 seconds, the call was overturned and Span was ruled out, ending the inning.

Video: NYY@WSH: After challenge, McCann throws out Span

The Nationals successfully challenged a call in the seventh inning, believing Didi Gregorius did not beat out a one-out infield single to shortstop. After two minutes and one second, the play was overturned and Gregorius was called out.

Video: NYY@WSH: After review, Desmond retires Gregorius

Yankees: The Yanks will enjoy their second off-day of the week on Thursday and return to action Friday at Yankee Stadium, opening a three-game series with the Rangers. Right-hander Michael Pineda (5-1, 3.31 ERA) draws the start for New York opposite right-hander Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.06 ERA). Pineda is coming off his first loss of the season last time out at Kansas City. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Nationals: The Nats have the day off Thursday before returning to Nationals Park to open a three-game series against the Phillies on Friday night at 7:05 ET. Right-hander Max Scherzer is scheduled to start after winning his fourth game -- and third straight -- by pitching seven shutout innings vs. the Padres, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out 11. It marked the 28th time in his career he has had at least 10 strikeouts in a game.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.


Carlos Beltran, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, Tyler Moore, Denard Span, Drew Storen, Adam Warren, Jordan Zimmermann