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PHOENIX -- Ian Desmond likes to be aggressive early in the count, often swinging at the first pitch. Facing a side-arming right-hander, one who had not allowed a run in 19 games, Desmonds approach worked out quite well for the Washington Nationals. Desmond and Tyler Moore each lined two-run singles off Brad Ziegler in the ninth inning, helping the Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Wednesday to salvage what started as a difficult road trip. "Hes really good, has some good numbers over the past few years, has been effective," Desmond said of Ziegler. "I just wanted to make sure I got something up in the zone and let the hands do the work." Washington had a hard time solving Brandon McCarthy, who locked into a pitchers duel with Doug Fister for the first seven innings. Ziegler (0-1) hadnt allowed a run in 18 1-3 innings, so pulling off another late-inning victory appeared to be a daunting task. Denard Span got it started with a gritty at-bat, drawing a walk after fouling off four straight pitches. The Nationals loaded the bases and Desmond came through, lining a single through the left side. Moore followed with another two-run hit, breaking his bat on a single up the middle. Jayson Werth homered and Tyler Clippard (4-3) tossed one scoreless inning for Washington, which took two of three from Arizona after being swept in Oakland. "We needed this one," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "It salvages the road trip. It started off really bad and its nice to get this one and head home on a positive note." The Diamondbacks had just come off a solid road trip and McCarthy put them in good position to win four straight series for the first time in nearly three years. Arizona lost to Washington in the ninth inning Monday night, and then had a surprising meltdown in the series finale by one of baseballs best relievers over the past few seasons. Aaron Hill homered and made several spectacular plays at second base for the Diamondbacks. "I had a lot of swing and misses over the top and a lot of balls chopped foul," Ziegler said. "I felt like I had decent stuff. Just didnt execute pitches that well." Fister was sharp after a rough debut for the Nationals. Acquired from Detroit in an off-season trade, the right-hander spent the first six weeks on the disabled list with a back strain. He returned Saturday against Oakland and was hit hard, allowing seven runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. Fister worked around a couple of baserunners the first three innings until Hill, swinging on a 3-0 pitch, hit a drive to left for his fourth of the season. Fister allowed five hits and struck out six before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. "Great job by Doug," Desmond said. "After his last start, Im sure he needed that one. He did an excellent job of keeping the ball down, using his sinker a lot." McCarthy was hit hard by the White Sox on Saturday, giving up seven runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings. The veteran right-hander was sharp against the Nationals. Keeping them off balance with big breaking curveball, McCarthy was perfect until Desmond led off the fifth inning with an infield single up the middle. Washington had a runner on third with one out in the sixth after an error on Arizona shortstop Chris Owings and a sacrifice bunt, but Hill saved a run with a diving stop in the hole on a hard-hit ball by Anthony Rendon to end the inning. Hill nor anyone else had a chance to reach Werths tying homer in the seventh inning, a screaming liner to right-centre that got out in a hurry. McCarthy continued to get outs after that and got some more help in the eighth from Hill, who dived and scooped the ball in the same motion on a slow roller by pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen. McCarthy allowed two hits and struck out seven in eight innings. "Some of the changes I wanted to make off last week I felt I was able to execute and do a better job, and make it a high priority," McCarthy said. "The results kind of followed after that." NOTES: Arizona LHP Randy Wolf exercised the out clause in his contract and was granted his release. The 37-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks after missing last season due to reconstructive elbow surgery. ... Washington leads the majors in run differential from the seventh inning on at plus-38. ... Arizona has Thursday off before RHP Wade Miley opens a three-game series against the Dodgers on Friday. ... Washington has Thursday off and has yet to announce a starter for the start of a three-game series against the New York Mets on Friday. Tony Lazzeri Jersey .C. United on Wednesday night. Forward Bright Dike scored the games only goal in the 85th minute on a foggy night in Bradenton, Fla. Matt Cain Jersey .ca! There is plenty of blame to be shared as a result of the most recent NHL player (Pittsburghs Brooks Orpik) to be evacuated from the ice on a stretcher following an ugly incident Saturday night in Boston. https://www.cheapjerseysgiants.us/1746u-...iants.html . The Jets have now won three straight at home and four of the last five at the MTS Centre. After a scoreless first period, Brad Marchand scored his first goal in eight games eight seconds into the second. Shawn Estes Jersey . When Reyes signed a US$106-million, six-year deal with Miami last month, there was speculation Ramirez was unhappy about being supplanted at short. But new manager Ozzie Guillen sold Ramirez on the idea. Randy Moffitt Jersey . -- Chris Tillman paid no attention to the Baltimore bullpen as it started to stir in the ninth inning. CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Marcus Paige and his North Carolina teammates have endured so many wild swings -- big wins, surprising losses, NCAA drama -- that no one can blame their Hall of Fame coach for wondering whats next. And yet, a month after sitting at 0-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Tar Heels are surging after a rousing comeback against their fiercest rival that had their fans rushing to midcourt to celebrate when it was over. Paige scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including two big baskets in the final 2 1/2 minutes, to help UNC beat No. 5 Duke 74-66 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Senior Leslie McDonald added a season-high 21 points for the Tar Heels (19-7, 9-4 ACC), who rallied from 11 points down in the second half to beat the Blue Devils (21-6, 10-4) in a rivalry game postponed more than a week by a winter storm. It was by far North Carolinas most impressive win during its run. Before Thursday, most had come against teams standing sixth or lower in the ACC standings. "Im not going to say were a finished product because weve got games left," Paige said, "but man, were playing really well right now and were winning games in a lot of different ways." It marked UNCs third win against a top-five team this season, along then-No. 1 Michigan State and then-No. 3 Louisville. Throw in then-No. 11 Kentucky in December, and the Tar Heels have beaten the top four teams from The Associated Press preseason Top 25. Not bad for a team that never had top player P.J. Hairston due to NCAA violations for improper benefits. "It was a bunch of guys that fought really hard," coach Roy Williams said, "and I couldnt be prouder of my team than I am right now." After filling the entire court after the horn, thousands of fans mobbed Franklin Street on the north end of campus to continue a celebration that came eight days later than they had hoped due to last weeks winter storm. The storm brought enough snow and ice to paralyze area roads and kept Dukes bus from even making it to Durham to pick up the team for the 11-mile drive to the Smith Center in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels made it worth the wait for their fans by being tough enough to wrestle control from the Blue Devils. They shot 50 per cent from the field after halftime and even made theeir last 10 free throws after a disastrous start at the line.dddddddddddd. Jabari Parker and Quinn Cook both scored 17 points for Duke, which led 51-40 with about 15 minutes left before going ice cold from the field. The Blue Devils missed 13 straight shots and went scoreless for 6 minutes at one point, helping the Tar Heels climb back in it by mixing a 1-3-1 zone with man defence. "They would just keep switching," Cook said. "Wed come down, and we wouldnt know what theyd be in. They kept us on our toes with their defence." Duke shot 36 per cent (11 for 31) after halftime and made 5 of 22 3-pointers for the game, Coach Mike Krzyzewski said he thought his team "played young" in the second half. "We looked tired or we didnt have life," Krzyzewski said. "And no matter what we did in a timeout, we just didnt have that spark -- the anger, the emotion, the thing you have to have to match what their crowd, their team is doing. You have to try to counter that. And I just felt we were, we didnt have the life that you needed to have." Paige provided plenty of that fight for the Tar Heels. After being hounded by Duke defenders Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon through his scoreless first half, he scored nine points in the final 5 1/2 minutes starting with his only 3-pointer of the night. McDonald hit the go-ahead jumper to make it 62-60 with 3:54 left, capping his own strong performance after two straight 1-for-8 shooting performances. Paige followed with a stepback jumper over Rodney Hood with 2:11 left, then answered Parkers free throws by driving for a scooping layup through the heart of Dukes defence. After Sulaimon missed a 3 on the ensuing possession, freshman Nate Britt followed with two free throws that pushed the lead to 68-62 with 46.2 seconds left and soon had the rowdy home crowd inching closer to the court. It marked the 11th time Paige has scored in double figures in the second half this season after scoring four or fewer in the first. The postponement created a four-games-in-eight-days stretch for both teams, though its particularly challenging for Duke with No. 1 Syracuse visiting Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday night in a rematch of the overtime classic won by the Orange earlier this month. UNC hosts Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon. ' ' 'mbus Blue Jackets need to resolve their offseason plans with forward R. Air Force 1 On Sale . A player confirmed to TSN on the condition of anonymity that he received his ballot yesterday. Another confirms hes been told to expect his shortly. "The unions executive committee insists a strike vote does not mean were pushing away from the table," the player said. "But we want the league to know were serious about our position. Please visit Brandon Hubschmams website to see the rest of the images ' ' '
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