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Gio Gonzalez was brilliant after allowing a first-inning homer.
Hitting highlight: There were nothing but lowlights for most of the night, but Desmond certainly made up for it with a major highlight
at the end. He had already struck out miserably in the top of the ninth with two on and two out. This time, he stepped up with the bases loaded and one out against Stutes, then dug himself into a huge hole, swinging and missing the first two pitches. With the count 1-2, Desmond took a borderline pitch that was called a ball by plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, much to the chagrin of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. Then he took advantage of the fortuitous break. Stutes' 2-2 slider wound up in the left-field bleachers, the first grand slam of Desmond's career and the first extra-inning grand slam in Nationals history.
Pitching highlight: The way this evening began, Gonzalez looked to be in serious trouble. Only nine pitches in, he already had surrendered a leadoff single to Ben Revere and a two-run homer to Michael Young. But give the left-hander credit. He blocked out his teammates' offensive woes, refocused on the task at hand and put forth probably his best starts of the season. Gonzalez didn't allow another hit before departing for the night. He issued two walks, but neither was damaging. And he struck out a season-high 11 batters. It was a stunningly good effort by Gio, yet sadly one that won't get enough praise because he didn't get the win. That's a real shame, because he certainly deserved better.
Key stat: Gio Gonzalez, Tyler Clippard, Ian Krol and Drew Storen combined to record 29 consecutive outs without surrendering a hit from the first through the 10th innings.
Up next: After a long and often frustrating road trip, the Nats return home Thursday night to open a four-game series with the Rockies. Jordan Zimmermann faces Roy Oswalt (making his first start for Colorado) at 7:05 p.m.