WASHINGTON -Willie Harris hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning and the Washington Nationals stretched their winning streak to a season-high four games by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Saturday night.

Alberto Gonzalez led off the 12th with a single against Scott Richmond (5-4). Harris followed hitting a full-count pitch into the Nationals’ right-field bullpen for his second home run of the season.

The Nationals, with the worst record in the majors, have their longest winning streak since taking seven straight from Aug. 26-Sept. 1, 2008.

Julian Tavarez (3-4) got the victory with 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief.

Washington’s Nick Johnson walked, singled and doubled in his first three times up, stretching his streak of reaching base safely to 10 consecutive plate appearances, a Nationals record. That matched the franchise mark set by the Montreal Expos’ Rusty Staub in 1969. Johnson’s streak ended with an eighth-inning groundout.

Vernon Wells hit his sixth homer off Washington starter Ross Detwiler in the sixth, ending career-long homerless drought of 160 at-bats.

The Nationals went up 1-0 in the fifth. Harris hit a ground-rule double over the wall in left-center, stole third and scored on Wil Nieves’ sacrifice fly.

Consecutive doubles by Cristian Guzman and Johnson restored the Nationals’ lead in the bottom of the sixth before Elijah Dukes’ two-out double made it 3-1.

Brett Cecil, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Las Vegas to take the rotation spot of the injured Toronto ace Roy Halladay, allowed eight hits and three runs in seven innings, walking one and striking out four.

Toronto tied it in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Jose Bautista’s single chased Detwiler, Kip Wells relieved and gave up a sacrifice bunt and a run-scoring single by Aaron Hill.

Kip Wells got Vernon Wells to pop up after a passed ball by Nieves moved Bautista up and was replaced by Joel Hanrahan, who yielded a game-tying single by Scott Rolen.

Detwiler allowed two runs on six hits over seven-plus innings, walking one and striking out three.

NOTES: Rolen’s fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Washington LHP Scott Olsen, on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis, will make at least one more rehabilitation start for Triple-A Syracuse before he’s activated. On Friday, Olsen allowed four runs on seven hits and walked three in 3 2-3 innings. … Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of Cito Gaston’s return as Toronto’s manager. In that time, the Blue Jays were 88-69 (.561), the third-best mark in the American League. … Washington RHP Jesus Colome left the game in the 11th with a right quadriceps strain.

AP-ES-06-20-09 2256EDT


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