Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/16/12

WASHINGTON -- You might think a New York Yankees squad sitting atop the American League would not be jazzed over a single regular season win in June. Maybe for the long haul, it would have made sense to let a lengthy extra-inning game played in the heat and after a night game slip away.

Think again.

Mark Teixeira delivered the go-ahead two-run double in the 14th inning and the Yankees survived a battle of the bullpens as New York downed the Washington Nationals 5-3 on Saturday afternoon.

The Yankees' season-high eighth straight win and second consecutive over the Nationals (38-25) improved their American League-best record to 39-25. New York improved to 3-0 in extra innings this season.

"This is a good win," said starter Andy Pettitte, whose impressive day ended long before the four-hour, 49-minute marathon was decided. "We've been playing well. We could have easily just kind of (said), 'Hey, we're playing well; we won yesterday, let this one die out there.' Awesome game to win."

Jayson Nix, who came on as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning, opened the 14th with an infield single against Nationals reliever Brad Lidge. He then stole second and moved to third on Derek Jeter's hit through the left side of the infield. One out later, Teixeira whacked a slider into the right field corner, scoring both runs.

The Nationals' relievers held the Yankees hitless for seven innings before Nix reached. After Cory Wade served up Ian Desmond's tying home run with two outs in the eighth inning, New York kept Washington off the scoreboard.

"That was exhausting," Teixiera said. "Not just a lot of hits out there to get. Give our pitchers credit for holding their team down and we got just a couple of hits in that last inning. But it feels really good."

Freddy Garcia (1-2) tossed two hitless innings. Rafael Soriano, the Yankees' sixth reliever, earned his 12th save after allowing two base hits. Drama built as teenage phenom Bryce Harper strode to the plate, but Soriano induced a ground ball out.

The NL East-leading Nationals entered the highly anticipated series on a six-game winning streak.

"You're not going to win every single game and we were on a pretty good roll there," said Lidge (0-1), who allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning. "But these guys we're playing are pretty hot too."

Harper finished 0-for-7 and struck out a career-high five times, three coming on swings against the 40-year-old Pettitte before 41,287 at Nationals Park.

Desmond's fourth-inning error allowed an unearned run to score, but his 10th home run of the season tied the game at 3 in the eighth. Washington nearly took the lead later in the inning as pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche singled to right field with Tyler Moore on second base. DeWayne Wise, who entered the game as a defensive replacement and then later moved to right on a double switch, threw out Moore at the plate.

Despite the bullpen domination, both teams had scoring opportunities before the final one.

Jeter's fielding error allowed Ryan Zimmerman to reach base leading off the 13th inning. The Nationals' third baseman advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, but was left stranded.

One day after turning 40 and armed with his bat-shattering best, Pettitte went seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

Pettitte baffled the 19-year-old Harper with a barrage of cut fastballs, including on a fifth-inning punch out with two runners on and one out in the fifth.

"I thought he was really amped up," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of his prized rookie. "I've never seen him swing at balls out of the zone. He was chasing balls. He got into that mode of trying to make something happen."

Trailing 2-1 entering the sixth inning, the Yankees scored twice against Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann. After Raul Ibanez's RBI groundout, Zimmermann barehanded a Russell Martin tapper back to the mound and threw home to catcher Jesus Flores, who tagged Nick Swisher out at the plate.

Eric Chavez followed with a two-out double into the right-center gap, allowing Martin to come around from first.

Zimmermann allowed three runs -- two earned -- and five hits with three walks while striking out six, including Teixeira three times.

The Nationals took the early lead with two runs in the second inning. With two on and two out, Pettitte's pitch shattered Flores' bat, but the Nationals catcher still powered a drive off the wall in left-center, driving in both runners.

The Nationals' defense helped the Yankees plate an unearned run in the fourth.

After Ibanez's RBI groundout, Desmond booted a Chavez grounder for his second error in as many games, allowing Swisher to cross home and cut the lead in half.

NOTES: Chavez started at third base in place of the resting Alex Rodriguez. ... Swisher left the game after the sixth-inning play at the plate with a left quad contusion. ... Pettitte's 52nd interleague start passed Livan Hernandez for the most in major-league history. ... Desmond started despite a potential oblique strain that required further evaluation during pregame warm-ups, manager Davey Johnson said. ... The win was the Yankees' first this season without hitting a home run, ending an 0-12 run.

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