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Washington1210001106130
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Paulino's double leads Pirates over Nationals in ninth inning

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- All season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been losing games precisely like this.

On Saturday night, they finally got one in the win column.

Ronny Paulino's single to the warning track with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Jason Bay and gave the Pirates a 7-6 victory over the Washington Nationals. Pittsburgh has won two straight for the first time in more than a month.

"We had visited that situation before this year," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "We showed growth with our presence of mind."

Paulino smacked a one-out drive off Roy Corcoran (0-1), who hadn't pitched in the majors since 2004. Bay led off the inning with a walk, Sean Casey singled for the third consecutive at-bat and pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Corcoran struck out Jose Bautista before Paulino's big hit.

"We're doing a lot of things these first two days back (from the All-Star break) that you need to win ballgames," Tracy said.

Many Pirates made references to a 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 19 when Pittsburgh had the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth but lost in 11 innings. The Pirates (32-60) had the majors' worst record at the All-Star break.

"Obviously guys are starting to do a lot better in the critical situations," said Joe Randa, who entered the game in the sixth and had two hits and scored two runs. "And it's showing."

The Pirates are on a winning streak for the first time since sweeping the San Francisco Giants on June 9-11. They had not won two straight at home since sweeping Milwaukee in a four-game set from May 29-June 1.

Casey was on base five times and Paulino, Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez each two hits for Pittsburgh in a seesaw game that featured four lead changes.

"It was fun to play," Wilson said. "It was one of those games where you see what this team is capable of doing when we play the game right."

The Nationals used four relievers after sending two of their best bullpen arms, Gary Majewski and Bill Bray, to the Reds in an eight-player trade on Thursday. Washington was also without right-hander Jon Rauch, who was not available due to family matters.

The Nationals used four relievers after sending two of their best bullpen arms, Gary Majewski and Bill Bray, to the Reds in an eight-player trade on Thursday.

Alfonso Soriano, Jose Guillen, Ryan Zimmerman and Brian Schneider each had two hits for Washington, which has lost five in a row.

"We're not getting the things done on the field that we have to get done to win ballgames," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "Any night you leave (14) men on base, you're not taking advantage of your opportunities. It's simple, really."

Things looked better for the Nationals early. Soriano hit the first pitch of the game for his fourth leadoff homer of the season and 27th of his career. It was the All-Star's 28th home run this year.

"We're working hard," Soriano said. "This second half hasn't started off well, but I think if everybody continues to try hard, we will win some games."

Wilson and Sanchez scored on Bay's single to left off Pedro Astacio in the bottom half of the first to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.

Guillen doubled in two runs in the second and Schneider singled in a run in the third to help Washington build a 4-2 lead, but the Nationals couldn't hold on.

Sanchez drove in Wilson in the third, and Randa doubled in Bautista in the sixth and scored on Wilson's perfect bunt single to give Pittsburgh a 5-4 lead.

"You don't see it too often," Wilson said of the bunt, which came on the first pitch. "At that point, I thought I would take a chance."

Astacio, making his third start of the season, allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Alex Escobar reached on an infield single in the seventh to drive in Guillen and tie it at five, leaving Astacio with a no-decision.

Pittsburgh starter Ian Snell lasted five innings, giving up four earned runs and six hits. He struck out six and walked six.

"I didn't have my fastball until the last two innings," said Snell, who threw 114 pitches in five innings. "It was frustrating ... but it feels great for the team because I want them to win so bad."

Mike Gonzalez (3-3) earned the win with a scoreless ninth.

"I didn't see any panic in anyone," Tracy said. "Just a bunch of guys with the recognition that, 'I've been here before."'

Notes

  • Zimmerman has a 14-game hitting streak.
  • Bautista has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games.
  • Washington passed the 800-game mark Saturday in terms of games lost to the disabled list.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Ronny Paulino is mobbed by his teammates after driving in the game-winning run in the ninth.  (AP)
Ronny Paulino is mobbed by his teammates after driving in the game-winning run in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

R. Paulino
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Washington

J. Guillen
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF3121310 .278
Felipe Lopez, SS4010237 .265
Jose Vidro, 2B5120004 .304
Nick Johnson, 1B5110015 .296
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4121002 .291
Austin Kearns, CF-RF3100220 .269
Jose Guillen, RF5122003 .216
    Luis Matos, CF0000000 .207
Brian Schneider, C4021110 .232
Pedro Astacio, P2000012 .000
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Gryboski, P0000000 .000
   a- Alex Escobar, PH1011000 .458
    Micah Bowie, P0000000 .000
    Roy Corcoran, P1000010 .000
Totals37613681023 
a-singled for Gryboski in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Vidro (16, Hernandez), Nick Johnson (31, Snell), Ryan Zimmerman (27, Snell), Jose Guillen (14, Snell)
HR - Alfonso Soriano (28, Snell)
SH - Ryan Zimmerman (1), Pedro Astacio (2)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano (58), Ryan Zimmerman (60), Jose Guillen 2 (37), Brian Schneider (33), Alex Escobar (5)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Schneider (13), Alex Escobar (4)
SB - Alfonso Soriano (21, 2nd base off Gonzalez/Paulino)
CS - Felipe Lopez (7, 2nd base by Snell/Paulino)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
DP - Zimmerman-Vidro-N. Johnson
Washington Nationals
Pedro Astacio 5.1855420 6.43
Mike Stanton 0.1000000 4.65
Kevin Gryboski 0.1100010 0.00
Micah Bowie 1.1211120 1.80
Roy Corcoran (BS,1; L,0-1) 1311110 9.00
IBB - Casey by Pedro Astacio
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Astacio 95-54, Mike Stanton 1-1, Kevin Gryboski 5-4, Micah Bowie 29-20, Roy Corcoran 28-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Astacio 6-7, Mike Stanton 1-0, Micah Bowie 1-1, Roy Corcoran 1-1
Batters Faced - Pedro Astacio 27, Mike Stanton 1, Kevin Gryboski 2, Micah Bowie 7, Roy Corcoran 7
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, RF4000022 .233
Jack Wilson, SS3222100 .267
Freddy Sanchez, 3B-2B5121011 .359
Jason Bay, LF3112211 .290
Sean Casey, 1B3030200 .308
Jose Castillo, 2B3000003 .272
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .250
   a- Craig Wilson, PH1000011 .267
    Roberto Hernandez, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
   b- Jose Hernandez, PH1010000 .250
Jose Bautista, CF4110115 .277
Ronny Paulino, C5021003 .309
Ian Snell, P2000000 .038
    Joe Randa, 3B2221000 .285
Totals3671476616 
a-struck out for Torres in the 7th
b-hit a bunt single for Gonzalez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez 2 (32, Astacio, Astacio), Joe Randa 2 (8, Astacio, Bowie)
SF - Jack Wilson (4)
SH - Nate McLouth (3)
RBI - Jack Wilson 2 (28), Freddy Sanchez (50), Jason Bay 2 (70), Ronny Paulino (23), Joe Randa (16)
2-OUT RBI - Jack Wilson (15)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Jack Wilson (12, Wild throw)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell 5644661 4.85
Matt Capps 1.2311010 3.26
Damaso Marte (BS,4)0200100 2.97
Salomon Torres 0.1000010 4.50
Roberto Hernandez 1211000 2.90
Mike Gonzalez (W,3-3) 1000120 2.39
IBB - Soriano by Ian Snell, Soriano by Damaso Marte
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 114-64, Matt Capps 27-20, Damaso Marte 16-8, Salomon Torres 5-3, Roberto Hernandez 15-9, Mike Gonzalez 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 5-3, Matt Capps 4-0, Roberto Hernandez 2-1
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 26, Matt Capps 8, Damaso Marte 3, Salomon Torres 1, Roberto Hernandez 5, Mike Gonzalez 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32626
Game Time - 3:31
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Larry Young, Third Base - Tom Hallion