Pirates 7, Nationals 6
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a game that included 13 runs, 21 hits and 12 pitchers, the pivotal moment might have come when Tony Batista ran through Tim Tolman's stop sign.
Batista blew past the Washington Nationals third base coach, trying to score from first on a double by Felipe Lopez in the sixth inning Tuesday night. The play at the plate was close -- replays show Batista might have beaten the tag -- but the call was out in what eventually became a 7-6 victory for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"It hurt us, obviously," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "We can't afford to be making those type of mistakes."
Xavier Nady had a double and a sacrifice fly -- both with the bases loaded -- Jack Wilson and Ronny Paulino homered, and Shawn Chacon (2-0) got his first win as a starter this season to give the Pirates a successful start to a six-game road trip.
Nady cleared the bases with a three-run double to the gap in left center in a five-run third inning, then got his fourth RBI of the night with a line-drive flyout that scored Jose Bautista in the fifth. Nady is 4-for-6 with nine RBIs with the bases loaded this season.
"I came up and got the timely hit, but you got to give credit to the guys before me," Nady said. "We needed that to kind of give us a little cushion, because we had been scuffling when we've had the opportunities."
But the Nationals nearly recovered. Trailing 7-2, they rallied in the sixth but lost a chance for a bigger inning because of Batista's blunder. His pinch-hit RBI single had made the score 7-4, and there was only one out with the heart of the lineup coming up when he tried to score on Lopez's double to right. Sure enough, Cristian Guzman followed with a triple after Batista got out.
"I tried to hold him up," Tolman said. "I guess I wasn't adamant enough about it."
Batista said he had already made up his mind to score and saw Tolman's sign a little too late.
"I see it, but on that kind of base hit, you try to score from first base," Batista said. "That's what I tried to do. I think I was safe, even though the umpire called me out."
The Pirates battered Nationals starter Mike Bacsik (1-2), who was fighting a stomachache and didn't have his usual control. Bacsik had his first bad start in four tries since his promotion from Triple-A to help fill Washington's injury-depleted rotation. He allowed six runs, six hits and walked five over 4 1-3 innings.
"I was just physically fighting through not feeling good, so energy and focus were just lacking," Bacsik said. "I feel like I'm making an excuse and I don't want to be. I took the ball. I said I was good enough to go, and I went out there and I didn't do a good job."
Chacon allowed four runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings in his third start since coming out of the bullpen to replace struggling starter Tony Armas in the rotation. Chacon also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Relievers Damaso Marte and Jonah Bayliss allowed a run apiece, but Salomon Torres pitched a scoreless eighth, and Matt Capps tossed a perfect the ninth for his second save since replacing Torres last week as the stopper.
"We bend a little bit bullpen-wise in the sixth and seventh inning," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "But we got the outs with the guys that we used that was necessary to get us to the back end, and our two guys in the eight and ninth inning were terrific."
The Nationals are 2-5 on this homestand, during which opposing pitchers are hitting 7-for-15 with two walks. ... Lopez's RBI single in the second snapped an 0-for-16 streak. ... Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman had a particularly tough night, going 0-for-5 three pop foulouts and a strikeout. ... Pittsburgh CF Rajai Davis, recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis late Monday, batted leadoff and went 0-for-3 with a walk in his season debut. He had been on a 21-game hitting streak with Indianapolis. ... Marte faced only two batters in the sixth, allowing Lopez's double and Guzman's triple.
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