BOSTON -- So much for being winless at Fenway Park.
The franchise was 0-9 all time at Fenway before the weekend series began.
"We were overdue," Nationals manager Davey Johnson. "This is a whole new ball club. There's great makeup, great talent on this ballclub. It's only going to get better."
Boston manager Bobby Valentine stormed out of the dugout during the bottom of the ninth to argue a strike and was quickly ejected by home plate umpire Alan Porter. Valentine argued vehemently well after the ejection and came awfully close to making contact a couple of times before leaving the field.
Valentine felt Bernadina should have been called out on Alfredo Aceves' 2-2 fastball, which Porter called a ball.
"You have to talk to the hitters," Valentine said. "The game is simple: Throw it over the plate, call it a strike; don't throw it over the plate, call it a ball. Simple. That's all anyone asks. I know it's been going on for 100 years, and I'm not the first one to say it, but this was a pretty lousy series."
Valentine said his frustration had been building throughout the weekend, culminating with a face-to-face tirade with Porter.
"It's not right," Valentine said. "Good umpires had a real bad series this series -- a real bad series -- and it went one way. There should be a review."
He can just about count on that after his on-field actions and postgame comments.
Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who struck out four times,
backed Valentine, although he chose his words much more carefully.
"Nobody's perfect and we understand that," Saltalamacchia
said. "We're not asking to expand the strike zone. We're not
asking him to completely tighten it up. We're just asking for him
to be equal on both sides."
The Montreal Expos went 0-6 at Fenway before the team moved to Washington and became the Nationals, who were swept 3-0 in a 2006 series at Fenway.
The "new" Nationals are unbeaten at Boston's iconic ballpark.
"It shows you we're a good ballclub and that we're not scared of AL East teams. And we're going to come in here and play our best ball," said Jordan Zimmermann, who struck out seven in seven innings before Washington's bullpen and bench rallied for the win.
Rookie Bryce Harper, who was out of the starting lineup because of a sore back, ended up scoring the winning run after drawing a walk while pinch hitting in the ninth with the game tied at 3-all.
Harper's back didn't slow him down as he came all the way around from first on Bernadina's double to right with two outs.
"Something in the gap or down the line you better score. I knew it was going to be maybe a close play at the plate, and thankfully it wasn't," Harper said. "I'm just going. Two outs, you don't really need anything."
Reliever Tom Gorzelanny (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and ended up with the win. Aceves (0-4) took the loss, Boston's fifth in a six-game homestand.
Boston tied it in the bottom half after Ryan Sweeney and Nick Punto hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, but Sweeney was the only one to score, coming home on a fielder's choice by Scott Podsednik.
Game notes Daniel Nava was a late scratch from the Red Sox lineup with a sore left hand. Darnell McDonald replaced Nava in left field and Podsednik moved up to the leadoff spot in his place. ... The Red Sox head to Miami for a three-game series with the Marlins, starting Monday. The Nationals will continue on their journey through the AL East with a trip to Toronto for three games against the Blue Jays.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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