might not have been the difference-maker in the
' 8-4 win over the
on Monday night. He did provide the turning point that allowed sluggers
to fill that role.
Clippard got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth inning, and Dunn and Zimmerman homered in the next two innings
as Washington rallied from a 3-0 deficit to salvage a split of the four-game series between last-place teams.
''It really takes a little wind out of your sails when you've got the bases loaded and nobody out and don't score, and it
pumps the other team up a little bit,'' Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. ''We were able to turn the game around from
had two hits and two RBIs for Washington, which won the last two games after a four-game losing streak.
homered for the fourth time in three games and
went 3 for 5 for the Pirates, who have lost seven of nine.
earned his eighth save by getting
, the only batter he faced, to ground out with two runners on.
Clippard (2-1) earned the win with three hitless innings of relief of
, who allowed 12 baserunners through four-plus innings while the Nationals only advanced one runner past first base through
the first five innings against
The Pirates had taken a 3-0 lead in the first but failed to add on despite loading the bases in the second and fifth innings.
Clippard got out of his jam by getting
to hit a comebacker double play and
to pop out.
''That could have changed the game around,'' McCutchen said. ''That was pretty much the biggest key for us, really. You figure
you're getting one run from out of that inning and hope for two so you take a 5-0 lead.''
Clippard said he approached the situation ''with the mentality of not letting anybody score.''
''That's not always easy with nobody out and the bases loaded, but I was trying to get a strikeout there,'' he said. ''Luckily,
it was a chopper back to me, and we were able to turn two, which is way better.''
Washington got to Morton (2-4) the next inning when Dunn hit a 2-1 pitch just inside the foul pole in left about six rows
back for a three-run homer, his 27th of the season, that gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead.
''I was kind of sitting on a pitch, and I got totally the opposite of what I was sitting on,'' Dunn said. ''I have no idea
how I hit it out. I just was late; that's why it went over there. By no means was it a good piece of hitting; it was very
good pitching. If I'm not sitting on changeup and I'm sitting on fastball there, I probably pull it into a double play ''
Morton allowed all four of his runs and four of his six hits in the sixth.
''It was just a bad - a really bad - inning,'' Morton said.
''Hopefully that's a learning experience for him,'' Pirates manager
said, ''to maintain and get through that inning.''
struck out the first two hitters of the seventh but allowed the next six hitters to reach base with four of them scoring.
Guzman had an RBI triple, Zimmerman hit a two-run homer, his 21st, and
added an RBI single to make it 8-3.
''You're not going to win too many games giving up eight runs after the sixth inning,'' Russell said.
For the second time in three days, McCutchen led off the bottom of the first with a home run. On Saturday, McCutchen became
the only rookie in Pirates history to hit three homers in a game.
had an RBI single and Young had a run-scoring fielder's choice in the first for Pittsburgh.
Making his fourth start of the season and seventh of his career, Mock was charged with three runs - two earned - seven hits
and four walks in four-plus innings.
NOTES: Doumit, the Pirates' cleanup hitter, drove in a run with a double in the ninth, his second RBI since July 23. ... Dunn
went 3 for 4 - a triple short of the cycle - for his fifth three-hit game of the season. ... Guzman has at least two hits
and an RBI in nine of his past 10 games. He has a 10-game hitting streak. ... Washington committed three errors.