"We haven't played the way we were expected to play. We're all accountable for what's going on." --Manny Acta, June 14, 2009.

THE RESULT: A ball that hit the third base bag and caromed into left center field turned into a run-scoring double as the Washington Nationals lost their 45th game of the season, getting swept by defending A.L. champion Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4, before 25,841 at Tropicana Field.

With one out in the eighth inning, third baseman Willie Harris was in position to field the bouncing ball. It was hit too slowly to get an inning-ending double play, but he surely would have thrown out the less-than-speedy Willie Aybar, who hit the grounder against Ron Villone (L, 3-3, 0.96).

Instead, the play is added to the long list of unusual circumstances contributing to the Nationals now record-setting losing pace, and perhaps to the firing of manager Manny Acta.

There was no new news as of this writing about the status of the embattled manager. But after having to tell the team about the death of Josh Willingham's brother, the added scrutiny from the Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated reports of his imminent demise, and losing the 15th of 18 games, Acta looked visibly tired in the visiting dugout this afternoon.

As they have all weekend, the Nationals jumped out to an early lead. The Rays spotted Washington a 4-0 lead Sunday, paced by Alberto Gonzalez' three RBIs.

But Nats starter Ross Detwiler had a very uneven day. He gave up four earned runs on six hits and a career high five walks. Three of the walks ended up scoring against the rookie stater. Detwiler did not strike out a batter today. He needed 95 pitches to get though five innings, and only threw 48 for strikes.

THE TAKEAWAY: The Nats turned three double plays today, or it would have been worse. Rookie pitchers will have days like this, especially for Detwiler. The lefty pitches across his body, and as such will have days where he loses his release point and lose control of his fastball. He was not sharp, but gutted out a performance that kept his team in the game.

However, the bats once again went silent after the initial salvo. It's almost like they collectively figure that four runs were going to get the job done today.

Adam Dunn struck out twice, including looking at strike three in the seventh inning with runners on first and third.

THE GOOD: Alberto Gonzalez. He went 3-for-4 with a run and three RBIs. He's hitting .319 on the season.

THE BAD: Corey Patterson. Making his first start of the season, he went 0-for-4 in the six-spot, leaving three runners on.

THE UGLY: The play eventually did not matter, but late in the game Willie Harris, giving Ryan Zimmerman the day off from defense, drifted toward the stands to chase a foul pop-up. However, the bullpens at Tropicana Field are in foul territory, and no one warned bullpen catcher Nelson Robledo that Harris was making tracks right toward him.

Just as Harris was getting ready to lift his arms to catch the pop-up, he collided with Robledo, both men tumbling, and the ball fell harmlessly to the artificial turf.

NEXT GAME: The Nationals are off Monday, which is widely expected to be the day Manny Acta is relieved of his managing duties. At this point, it would be shocking if it did not go down later tonight or sometime tomorrow. Nationals Journal reported that Acta did indeed get on the plane to New York though.

Washington continues its interleague road trip in New York against the Yankees on Tuesday at 7:05 pm. Shairon Martis (5-1, 5.04) takes on C.C. Sabathia (5-4, 3.68).