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Pittsburgh at Washington

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh000000000050
Washington «30100002x660

Nationals 6, Pirates 0

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- A day after manager Frank Robinson criticized the Nationals for a lackluster start, Nick Johnson and Zach Day gave Washington some spark.

Johnson homered twice and Day won for the first time in nearly a month, leading the Nationals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 Friday night.

Coming off getting two-game sweep by the Florida Marlins, the Nationals built a 3-0 lead after the first inning and cruised.

"You get out front, three runs, that's a big plus for you," Robinson said. "It's good for the psyche. It makes everyone feel a lot better, a lot more confident."

Johnson hit two-run homers in the first off Oliver Perez (1-5) and in the eighth against John Grabow, his third multihomer game and second this season. Johnson was 2-for-2 with two walks.

Claimed off waivers from Colorado on April 26, Day (2-3) had been winless in three starts since April 8, including a 3-1 loss at St. Louis on April 30 in his first game back with the Nationals.

He allowed four hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked none, lowering his ERA from 9.82 to 7.11. Day, who retired his last 10 batters, was traded to Colorado last July.

"It wasn't necessarily my best stuff coming out of the bullpen," Day said. "But we were able to make some adjustments, and I think that was big. That felt good."

Jon Rauch and Felix Rodriguez finished the five-hitter, the first shutout for the Nationals since Sept. 26 at Florida.

Jose Vidro had two hits, including an RBI double in the first inning, and the Nationals won for just the third time in 11 games.

"I felt that it was good," Vidro said of Robinson's message Thursday night. "I think it was needed.... It was very ugly. It was very embarrassing."

Perez (1-5) lost his third straight start, allowing four runs, three hits and four walks in four innings as his ERA rose to 7.71. He has 27 walks in 32 2-3 innings and has not lasted through the fifth in four of seven starts.

Pittsburgh, an NL-worst 8-23, lost its third straight game and dropped to 2-16 on the road. The Pirates are off to their worst start since 1957, when they also started 8-23. They did not advance a runner past second base and were blanked for the second straight game.

"We have not done a very good job over the course of the last several days of driving the ball," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said.

Washington scored three runs in the first on Marlin Byrd's leadoff walk, Vidro's RBI double and Johnson's homer. Jose Guillen added a sacrifice fly in the third.

Notes

Johnson homered twice April 20 at Philadelphia. He became the first left-handed batter to homer against Perez this season. ... Day's only previous win with the Nationals was April 20, 2005, against Atlanta. ... Freddy Sanchez hit leadoff for the first time this year and went 0-for-4. ... Entering the game, the Nationals had been outscored 30-17 in the first inning. ... Marlon Anderson left for a pinch runner after being hit on the right knee during a pinch-hitting appearance in the seventh inning. X-rays were negative. ... RHP Ryan Vogelsong pitched three hitless innings for Pittsburgh.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Washington

J. Vidro
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Washington

N. Johnson
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Freddy Sanchez, 3B4000001 .313
Jack Wilson, SS4020001 .303
Jason Bay, LF3000002 .250
Jeromy Burnitz, RF3000101 .198
Craig Wilson, 1B4000012 .264
Nate McLouth, CF4000010 .164
Jose Castillo, 2B3010000 .223
Humberto Cota, C3010021 .245
Oliver Perez, P1000011 .143
   a- Chris Duffy, PH1000000 .198
    Ryan Vogelsong, P0000000 .000
   b- Ronny Paulino, PH1010000 .289
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
Totals31050159 
a-grounded out for Perez in the 5th
b-singled for Vogelsong in the 8th
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Nate McLouth 1
DP - F. Sanchez-J. Wilson-Castillo, McLouth-C. Wilson
Pittsburgh Pirates
Oliver Perez (L,1-5) 4344411 7.71
Ryan Vogelsong 3000110 5.71
John Grabow 1322011 6.59
HBP - Anderson (by Ryan Vogelsong)
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 80-49, Ryan Vogelsong 50-27, John Grabow 25-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 4-5, Ryan Vogelsong 2-6, John Grabow 1-1
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 17, Ryan Vogelsong 11, John Grabow 6
Washington Nationals
Marlon Byrd, CF2200201 .262
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
    Felix Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
Jose Vidro, 2B4231000 .346
Alfonso Soriano, LF4000014 .288
Nick Johnson, 1B2224200 .318
Jose Guillen, RF3001011 .228
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4010001 .245
Matt LeCroy, C4000001 .190
Royce Clayton, SS2000110 .224
Zach Day, P2000001 .000
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH0000000 .111
    Ryan Church, PR-CF0000000 .256
Totals27666539 
a-hit by pitch for Day in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Vidro (3, Perez)
HR - Nick Johnson 2 (8, Perez, Grabow)
SF - Jose Guillen (3)
RBI - Jose Vidro (16), Nick Johnson 4 (18), Jose Guillen (11)
SB - Ryan Church (2, 2nd base off Vogelsong/Cota)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - N. Johnson-Clayton-Day
Washington Nationals
Zach Day (W,2-3) 7400150 7.11
Jon Rauch 1100000 1.47
Felix Rodriguez 1000000 5.71
HBP - Bay (by Zach Day)
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Day 105-66, Jon Rauch 21-12, Felix Rodriguez 16-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Day 8-7
Batters Faced - Zach Day 26, Jon Rauch 4, Felix Rodriguez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21059
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Doug Eddings