Baseball / Sports

Nationals outlast reeling Pirates in 11 innings

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals walked off against the Pirates again, this time with a 6-5 victory in 11 innings at Nationals Park Sunday night.

Washington swept the Pirates, who lost all five games of their road trip.

Jayson Werth smoked a double off the wall in left field, out of reach of Michael Martinez, against Brandon Cumpton to lead off the bottom of the 11th. Denard Span's groundout moved Werth to third. Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston flied out to left-center field deep enough to score the go-ahead run.

The Pirates led in the ninth, but Mark Melancon walked Werth with one out. Span's single put Werth on third and Asdrubal Cabrera's hit scored the tying run. Starling Marte made a sliding catch in center to take away a hit and Melancon struck out Adam LaRoche looking to force extra innings.

Rafael Soriano began the ninth, which started with a 4-2 Nationals lead, by hitting Marte. Travis Snider ripped a single off LaRoche's glove, sending Marte to third. Michael Martinez pinch-ran for Snider.

Soriano threw a wild pitch, scoring Marte, before walking Ike Davis, for whom Jordy Mercer pinch-ran. Pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez reached on a fielder's choice. Nationals manager Matt Williams kept Soriano in to face Gregory Polanco, who was 0 for his past 19, rather than bring in a left-hander.

Polanco smoked the first pitch he saw to the wall in right-center field. Mercer scored. Sanchez followed, running through third-base coach Nick Leyva's stop sign, and the Pirates led, 5-4.

Edinson Volquez faltered slightly in the sixth, but set the stage for the Nationals' three-run seventh that gave them the lead. With one out, Volquez hit Michael Taylor. It took a Nationals challenge and a one-minute, 25-second review, after Fletcher initially called it a foul ball, but Taylor got his base. Consecutive singles by pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen and Span forced Volquez from the game.

Jared Hughes entered with the bases loaded to face Cabrera, who bounced the ball to Davis at first. Davis threw home to prevent the run, but his wide throw tipped off Russell Martin's glove, allowing two runs to score.

Anthony Rendon grounded to third, but Pedro Alvarez's short throw to the plate was high and wide. Span scored, increasing Washington's lead to 4-2.

Only one of the Nationals' four runs scored against Volquez was earned. He finished 61/3 innings, allowed six hits and struck out five.

Doug Fister held the Pirates hitless through four innings, but his defense allowed the Pirates to send eight men to the plate during a two-run rally in the sixth. Polanco, who led off the inning, reached first when Ian Desmond booted a ground ball. Twice Fister threw over to first. When he finally delivered to the plate, Polanco took off, and Harrison smacked a single to right. The perfect hit-and-run gave the Pirates runners on the corners.

Neil Walker grounded right back to Fister, who caught Polanco breaking for the plate. Fister threw to third, Polanco took off and Rendon's throw was in the dirt, allowing Polanco to score.

Martin dribbled a swinging bunt down the third-base line, and Rendon's throw to first hit Martin in the back. Harrison scored on the play.

Alvarez singled, loading the bases. Marte tapped a soft grounder to Fister, who threw home to start a 1-2-3 double play, but his short toss to Wilson Ramos pulled Ramos off the plate and the Nationals only got one out.

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