Pirates beat Nationals 10-2, split four-game series
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pittsburgh Pirates scored three in the first, five in the second and cruised to a 10-2 win Sunday, giving Kevin Correia his 11th win of the season and earning a split in their four-game series with the Washington Nationals.
Correia (11-6) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings to become the first Pirates pitcher to win 11 games before the All-Star break since Jim Bibby in 1980. Correia is tied for a majors lead in wins with Jair Jurrjens, Roy Halladay, C.C. Sabathia and Justin Verlander, and his nine road victories are tops in baseball.
Pittsburgh's 10 runs matched a season-high as the club moved two games over .500 for the ninth time this season, where they keep hitting a barrier that so far has stopped them cold. They are 0-8 when trying to get to three games over.
The Pirates were due for a laugher after playing mostly tight ones recently.
They sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning and nine in the second.
Andrew McCutchen finished with three hits and would have had four were it not for Roger Bernadina's diving catch on the warning track in the left field corner. McCutchen had nine hits in the series, including six for extra bases, to raise his average to .294.
The Pirates battered Jason Marquis (7-3), who lost for the first time in eight starts. He lasted only 1 1-3 innings, allowing seven runs and eight hits as the Nationals again fell below .500 and dropped to 2-5 under manager Davey Johnson. Washington has already allowed 10 or more runs twice under Johnson, matching the number times it happened in 78 games under Jim Riggleman and John McLaren.
Jayson Werth left the game after getting hit on the left arm by a pitch in the sixth. He continued to struggle at the plate, striking out with two outs and two men on base in the first and flying out to center with a runner on base in the third to drop his batting average to .223. The fans' tepid reaction was much kinder than it was on Saturday, when he was booed loudly during the second game of a doubleheader.
The Nationals had two offensive highlights: a two-run homer by Wilson Ramos and an infield hit from 43-year-old first baseman Matt Stairs, who was starting in the field for the first time since April 12.
Correia's latest win came on the day the All-Star rosters were named, and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle felt the right-hander should have been included.
"I do know over the winter when we signed Kevin Correia, there wasn't a big 'oh, yes' that resonated throughout the city of Pittsburgh," Hurdle said.
NOTES: There wasn't much of a feeling that Joel Hanrahan and Tyler Clippard would be future All-Stars when they were part of the Nationals bullpen in 2008 and 2009. On Sunday, they both were named to the NL squad. Hanrahan has tied a Pirates record with 24 consecutive converted save chances. "It is kind of ironic," Hanrahan said. "I went into that (Washington) clubhouse plenty of times hanging my head, looking for answers, trying to figure out where my career was going - really searching for everything. To be here now, riding high, hearing the announcement I made the All-Star team - that's really a good feeling." Clippard didn't figure he'd have much of a shot because he's a setup man, but he has 57 strikeouts, 15 walks and a 1.96 ERA for the Nationals. He has allowed only 6 of 31 inherited runners to score. "I knew there was maybe an outside shot," Clippard said. "But I didn't really take it seriously and maybe that's probably a good thing." ... Nationals 1B Michael Morse will be on a fan ballot to determine the final NL All-Star spot. He missed Sunday's game with a bruised forearm after getting hit by a pitch Saturday night. ... The Pirates sent RHP Brad Lincoln to Triple-A Indianapolis and recalled RHP Chris Leroux.