Nats' ninth-inning rally not enough; Gomes wins it for Reds

WASHINGTON -- Jonny Gomes sat in Cincinnati's clubhouse and watched the end of three different baseball games on TV while he waited for a rain delay to end.

When the Reds finally got back on the field, he washed away Washington's rally with one clutch hit.

Gomes put Cincinnati ahead with a pinch-hit RBI double in the 12th inning and the Reds won 4-2 on Wednesday night after the Nationals tied in the ninth following the long delay.

"I don't think there was any method to the madness on that one," Gomes said. "I went in there and took a swing -- luckily it fell."

The Reds were leading 2-0 and had perfect closer Francisco Cordero on the mound when the rain came in the bottom of the ninth. When they returned to the field more than two hours later, the Nationals pushed across two runs to send the game to extra innings.

Jay Bruce led off the 12th with a walk and Alex Gonzalez reached when Ron Villone (3-1) botched his sacrifice attempt. Bruce moved to third on a passed ball.

Jason Bergmann got Ryan Hanigan to ground into a double play but Gomes followed with his double into left field. Jerry Hairston Jr. added an RBI single.

"The bottom line is that we won. That's not how we drew it up, that's not how you would have scripted it," manager Dusty Baker said. "We were out here a little later, a little longer than we planned."

Villone gave up his first run of the year. He entered with 17 scoreless innings this season.

Nick Masset (4-0) pitched two innings for the win and David Weathers finished for his first save.

The woeful Nationals put together a nice rally after the 2 hour, 10 minute delay in the ninth. When the game started again, less than 100 fans remained in the seats, gathered in the rows behind each dugout.

Cordero issued a leadoff walk to Elijah Dukes and had a 2-2 count on Josh Willingham when rain sent the teams off the field. When the game resumed, Cordero walked Willingham to put runners at first and second.

After Ronnie Belliard struck out, Josh Bard and pinch-hitter Alberto Gonzalez had RBI singles to tie it at 2.

Cordero had converted all 15 of his save opportunities this season -- it was his first blown save since last July 21 against the San Diego Padres.

"He said he felt great," Baker said. "That's similar to your closer throwing both ends of a doubleheader. He didn't throw that much."

It was one more tough result for the Nationals, who are 0-8 in extra innings this season. Washington has lost three in a row and 12 of 14 overall.

"The extra-inning thing carries back from the days when our bullpen was struggling," manager Manny Acta said. "But right now, our bullpen is throwing a lot better, and we just haven't been able to get the big hit."

Aaron Harang pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings and Bruce had a two-run homer for Cincinnati. Harang allowed five hits, walked three and struck out two.

Shairon Martis went seven innings for the Nationals, allowing just three hits.

Game notes

Hairston batted leadoff for the Reds. CF Willy Taveras, trying to work his way out of a slump, moved to the second spot. Baker called the move temporary. ... The Nationals signed RHP Drew Storen, the 10th overall pick in the draft. The deal is worth more than $1.5 million. ... Willingham made his first start since missing six games with a stomach virus. Usually a left fielder, it also was his first career start in right. Willingham committed an error in the third when Hairston's liner bounced out of his glove.