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Soriano ties franchise HR mark; Nats walk away winners

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mired in last place in the NL East, the
Washington Nationals are still fighting for every win they can get.

Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer and rookie Ryan Zimmerman's
bases-loaded walk in the 11th inning lifted the Nationals over the
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 Saturday for their first back-to-back wins
in franchise history when trailing by two or more runs entering the
ninth.

The Nationals trailed 6-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth.

"It feels good to win two games of any kind," manager Frank
Robinson said. "It was especially nice for the kids that went out
there and did a job for me on the mound and kept us in the
ballgame. We're not going to pack it in until the season's over."

Bernie Castro led off the bottom half of the 11th with a walk
against Arizona reliever Brandon Lyon (2-4). Robert Fick sacrificed
him to second and Lyon intentionally walked Soriano.

"Walk the leadoff guy. That's not the way you want to go,"
Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "You got to make them hit
their way on base."

After Felipe Lopez walked to load the bases, Lyon lost Zimmerman
on a full-count pitch. Zimmerman's bases-loaded walk gave him 90
RBI this season.

"I was looking for something to hit, trying to hit it to
right-center and try to get the run in," Zimmerman said. "I was
looking away. He was trying to nibble. I was surprised he came back
with a 3-2 curveball."

Soriano tied the franchise record with his 44th homer in the
ninth inning, a two-run shot to left that tied it at 6. His drive
came off reliever Jorge Julio, who blew his first save opportunity
since July 25.

"I didn't feel like I was gripping the ball," Julio said of
his inside fastball to Soriano. "When I threw it, it slipped out
of my fingers."

Chris Young went 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBI for the
Diamondbacks, who have lost nine of their last 11 games.

Young, playing in his ninth major league game, put starter
Miguel Batista in position to win his fifth straight decision
before Julio allowed Soriano's homer. Batista limited the Nationals
to five singles and one run in seven innings. He struck out five
and walked three.

"He threw the ball extremely well -- certainly good enough to
win a game and should have won a game," Melvin said.

Chad Cordero (6-4) struck out two in two hitless innings to get
the win.

Billy Traber started for Washington and allowed four runs and 10
hits in four-plus innings. The Nationals used four other relievers
to get to Cordero.

Young gave Arizona a 4-1 lead with a two-run double in the
fourth inning that scored Damion Easley and Stephen Drew.

Ryan Church pulled the Nationals to 6-4 with a three-run homer
off Tony Pena in the eighth. Nick Johnson started the rally with a
double and Austin Kearns followed with a walk.

Beltran Perez, acquired Friday from Double-A Harrisburg, made
his major league debut in the sixth for the Nationals. He pitched
two innings and allowed one hit.

Eric Byrnes and Johnny Estrada started the fifth with
back-to-back singles that chased Traber. Chris Booker, acquired
Friday from Triple-A New Orleans, made his Nationals debut in
relief of Traber. Booker struck out Carlos Quentin and got Easley
to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Quentin homered in the eighth for the Diamondbacks.

Game notes
Vladimir Guerrero hit 44 homers in 2000 to set the Montreal
Expos/Washington Nationals franchise record for home runs in a
single season. "I feel happy because it's a very good number
personally," Soriano said of tying the mark. ... Booker, Perez and
pinch-hitter Nook Logan are the 53rd, 54th and 55th players the
Nationals have used this season, a National League high. ... This
was the first time the teams have met since May 11, 2005. ... This
was the first day-night doubleheader in Nationals' history. ... The
Nationals are 7-5 in extra-inning games. The Diamondbacks are 6-5.
... Batista has not lost since June 20. He's won five straight
decisions and had nine no-decisions, including his last four
straight starts.