NEW YORK — Denard Span decided during warmpus that the tightness in his back was tolerable and he would give playing a shot.
He felt a whole lot better when he was running out the go-ahead, infield single in the 11th inning.
Scratched from the lineup the previous night because of his back, Span had three hits and two RBIs in the Washington Nationals’ 5-4 victory June 10 that ended the New York Yankees’ seven-game winning streak.
“Get on my horses. We need a win, and we’re ready to get on an airplane,” Span said. “So I just dug deep and tried to get to first.”
Span’s hustle helped the banged-up Nationals win for only the third time in 12 games.
After the game, Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said closer Andrew Miller will go on the disabled list because of a strained forearm muscle, an injury that pushes setup man Dellin Betances into a ninth-inning role.
Miller won’t pick up a ball for 10 to 14 days.
“I think it was one of those things that was building,” Miller said. “It hasn’t been recovering quite like I wanted it to, so it’s frustrating more than anything for me.”
Michael Taylor hit a tying, two-run homer in the eighth against 22-year-old fellow rookie Jacob Lindgren.
Tyler Moore led off the 11th with a single off Chris Capuano (0-4) and advanced on Jose Lobaton’s sacrifice and Danny Espinosa’s tapper back to the mound.
Span then hit a high chopper up the middle. Second baseman Stephen Drew fielded the ball as he crossed second base but Span beat the one-hop throw.
“That’s not an easy transition you want on your first day back,” Manager Matt Williams said. “We need him. He’s an important part of our club.”
Blake Treinen (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the win, and Drew Storen was perfect in the 11th for his 19th save, tying St. Louis’ Trevor Rosenthal for the NL lead.
Alex Rodriguez had a tiebreaking double to end a 0-for-11 drought in a four-run seventh that put New York up 4-2. Brendan Ryan, who came off the 60-day disabled list, had a one-out RBI triple to chase Gio Gonzalez after 6 1-3 sharp innings.
Brett Gardner’s RBI double off Felipe Rivero tied the score 2-all, and Rodriguez and Brian McCann had run-scoring hits off Aaron Barrett. McCann’s single bounced off second base and over a perfectly positioned fielder.
After Yunel Escobar singled to open the eighth, Girardi replaced Nathan Eovaldi with Lindgren, the first pitcher Harper ever faced in professional baseball who was younger than the Washington star. Harper, who made his major league debut as a 19-year-old and is 7 months older than Lindgren, flied out to left.
Lindgren then got a forceout before Taylor homered the opposite way to right field. “Just trying to put the barrel on the ball,” Taylor said. “In a situation like that it’s easy to try to do too much.”
No. 9 batter Espinosa doubled with two outs in the third for Washington’s first hit and scored on Span’s double. Espinosa homered in the fifth for a two-run lead.
Eovaldi, remained winless in interleague play — he’s 0-4 in 12 career starts. He yielded three runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings.
(HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Baseball Writer)