Kearns helps pesky Nats come back again for win

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Nationals keep rallying in the late

Austin Kearns hit a two-run double in a four-run eighth inning,
and the Washington Nationals beat Arizona 5-3 Sunday for their
fourth consecutive come-from-behind victory.

The Nationals have won their last four games despite trailing by at least two runs in the eighth inning or later in each game. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that's the longest winning streak of its kind in major-league history. No other National League team has ever won even three straight games in that fashion; a trio of AL teams won three in a row under those circumstances (1966 Orioles, 1971 Tigers and 1995 Indians).

"The main thing that they can get out of this is that you don't
never give up," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "As long
as you have an out left, you have a chance to win a ballgame.
That's a good lesson for a young ballclub."

Kearns wanted to play Sunday despite going 20 innings in
Saturday's doubleheader with a tight right groin.

"I'm fine," said Kearns, who has 13 RBI in his last 13 games.
"I told Frank I was fine. It's nothing where I felt like I
couldn't play."

Arizona dropped to 0-6 at RFK Stadium and at 64-72 fell eight
games below .500 for the first time this season.

Brandon Webb (14-6) had a 3-1 lead and had retired 19 of 20
batters, including 13 in a row, before Nook Logan reached on a bunt
single leading off the eighth. Pinch-hitter Ryan Church walked, and
Felipe Lopez and Ryan Zimmerman hit consecutive RBI singles.

Nick Johnson was intentionally walked, and Kearns hit a 3-2
pitch to deep right-center, chasing Webb.

"I felt good," Webb said. "That is the way it is going for
the whole team. Bad luck."

Webb struck out eight.

"Webby did all he could do, except for the last pitch,"
Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "He was a little spotty in the
first inning, but really good after that."

Ryan Wagner (3-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings, and Jon Rauch pitched a
perfect ninth for his first career major league save. Nationals
closer Chad Cordero was given the day off after pitching three
innings in Saturday's doubleheader.

"I think it's real big for the team," Rauch said. "To get a
sweep, especially the way we've been playing and all that's been
going, it's a great thing."

Nationals starter Tony Armas Jr. gave up three runs, four hits
and four walks in 6 1-3 innings, his longest outing since a
seven-inning no-decision on Aug. 13.

Kearns hit an RBI single in the first, but Arizona built its
lead on Chad Tracy's fifth-inning homer, Conor Jackson's
sixth-inning sacrifice fly and Orlando Hudson's seventh-inning RBI
single. Hudson's hit drove in Carlos Quentin, who sprinted home
from second and slipped a hand on the plate underneath Brian
Schneider's tag.

Game notes
Alfonso Soriano stole his 36th base as he closes in on
joining Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds as the fourth
member of baseball's 40-home run, 40-stolen base club. Soriano has
44 homers. ... Tracy's home run was his 16th but his first since
July 31. ... Logan is 3-for-8 since he was acquired from Detroit on
Friday, where he played most recently with Double-A Erie. The
center fielder also robbed Stephen Drew of an extra-base hit with a
sprawling catch in the third inning ... Webb has allowed 16 earned
runs in his last four starts, going 1-2.