PHOENIX -- D-backs closer Addison Reed put his glove over his mouth and screamed into it as he crossed the third-base line on his way into the home dugout.
He had just retired Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon to end the ninth inning, but the damage had been done, and the leather mitt was on the receiving end of his wrath.
Reed entered in the ninth to secure the save, but things went awry fast, and the Nationals stung him for two home runs in the frame to turn a one-run lead into 6-5 Arizona loss at Chase Field.
Reed yelled, the crowd moaned, but in the end, it was the scoreboard that made the most noise. After the game, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson made sure his voice also was heard.
"There's no controversy here. He's our closer, and he's done a hell of a job for us," Gibson said. "You can forget that. It didn't work out for us tonight, and it [stinks]."
Reed has converted 11 saves in 13 chances this season. He has also allowed six home runs and 11 earned runs in 19 2/3 innings.
"Both of the home runs they hit out were fastballs," Reed said. "When you are not really throwing your slider where you want to and how you want to, it kind of makes it easier on them."
It was a tough defeat for a team trying to establish a home-field advantage, and it happened so quickly. The D-backs led, 5-4, after eight innings, when Danny Espinosa tied the game at 5 with a home run off Reed to lead off the top of the ninth. Two outs later, Kevin Frandsen launched a solo home run over the wall in left field to give the Nationals a 6-5 advantage.
"I'm locating the ball bad right now, and they are making me pay for it," Reed said. "I just have to keep the ball down and throw the ball where I'm trying to throw it. Location is everything in pitching, and right now, I'm kind of leaving it right over the middle of the plate."
The D-backs had their chances.
Denard Span led off the game with triple off D-backs starter Josh Collmenter, and scored Washington's first run on a sacrifice fly by Rendon. Tyler Moore's home run in the second inning extended the Nationals' lead to 2-0.
But it was Collmenter who started the rally in the three-run third inning with a one-out double down the right-field line. Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann struck out Gerardo Parra, but Martin Prado followed with a ground-rule double that scored Collmenter to cut Washington's lead to 2-1. Paul Goldschmidt's double tied the game at 2, and Miguel Montero put the home team ahead with a single up the middle to score Goldschmidt and push the D-backs up, 3-2.
The lead did not last long.
Collmenter walked Wilson Ramos on four pitches, and Ian Desmond followed with a two-run home run to left field to push the Nationals ahead, 4-3, in the fourth.
Collmenter pitched a scoreless fifth inning and yielded to Randall Delgado to start the sixth inning. Evan Marshall flirted with disaster in the seventh inning, but he was rescued with a fantastic diving stop and throw to first base by shortstop Chris Owings with two men on base to end the inning.
Trailing, 4-3 in the sixth, Aaron Hill led off with a double to set the stage for a two-run homer by A.J. Pollock that gave the D-backs a 5-4 lead.
"We played a good game tonight. We played good defense," Gibson said. "Colli struggled through five, and didn't have much of changeup tonight, and they pounded three of them. Span got a triple, and two home runs on the other ones. We battled back and we came up short."
The series continues Tuesday with Bronson Arroyo on the mound for the D-backs. Reed will be ready if he is called upon.
"This isn't going to ruin me or do anything to my confidence," Reed said. "I'll come out here tomorrow and be ready to throw."