CHICAGO -- Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals were cruising along until it all fell apart. Then, a slow roller bailed them out.
Denard Span scored the go-ahead run on pinch-hitter Chad Tracy's grounder in the 13th inning, and the Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Thursday after Strasburg blew a three-run lead in the ninth.
Span doubled leading off the 13th against Michael Bowden (1-3). He moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Steve Lombardozzi and came around on Tracy's roller to the first-base side of the mound.
"We got to do better than that. I mean, that gave me a heart attack," manager Davey Johnson said, smiling. "It's a good thing we had a track star down on third base. But a win is a win."
Craig Stammen (7-5) worked two innings and earned the victory. Drew Storen secured his third save in eight chances (see full recap).
Jackson's fielding costs Tigers
DETROIT -- Chris Herrmann thought he had missed his chance to give the Minnesota Twins a much-needed win in a road series.
But his second RBI double of the game broke an eighth-inning tie and helped the Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 7-6 on Thursday.
With two outs, the Twins catcher lined a ball into the right-center field gap. Center fielder Austin Jackson got a bad break on the ball, and just missed while attempting a shoestring catch. Doug Bernier scored from second to give the Twins the lead.
"I thought I hit it right at him, and it isn't like he's going to drop the ball," Herrmann said. "I still have no idea why it started hooking right, but I'll take it."
Jackson took a couple of indecisive steps toward right-center and then realized he was in trouble. He got close, but his style of not diving for balls cost him. He tried to grab the ball off the top of the grass, and couldn't hang on (see full recap).
Surging Yankees hold off Blue Jays
NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees are making their move in the AL playoff race -- thanks in large part to all the wins they are piling up against Toronto.
Pettitte pitched six effective innings, and Curtis Granderson homered to help the surging Yankees win 5-3 on Thursday after a 3 1/2-hour rain delay, their 10th straight victory over the Blue Jays.
New York took advantage of a missed call by the umpires to win its fifth consecutive game and 10th in 12 overall.
"We're feeling good about ourselves, and you knew this was going to happen," Pettitte said. "It was just a matter of when, and you hope it's not too late" (see full recap).