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Guzman's six RBI and go-ahead double carry Nats past Bucs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Cristian Guzman battled injuries the past two seasons. He's finally healthy this year and has the numbers to prove it.

Guzman matched a career high with six RBI, including a tiebreaking three-run double in the sixth inning, and the Washington Nationals held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8 on Saturday.

Guzman missed the 2006 season while recovering from shoulder surgery and was limited to 46 games last year by hamstring and thumb injuries.

"This year is different," he said. "Last year, I was hurt. This year, thank God, ... I am healthy."

Guzman is returning to the form that spurred the Nationals to sign him to a $16.8 million, four-year deal in November 2004. He went 4-for-5 and scored two runs to earn his team-best 11th multihit game and end a 1-for-13 slump.

Nationals manager Manny Acta, whose club's .228 average entering the game was next-to-last in the majors, welcomed the offensive surge. He was particularly happy with the top of the order -- leadoff man Felipe Lopez and Guzman reached base a combined seven times Saturday.

"It's always nice to score that many runs when you give up as many as we did," Acta said.

Jose Bautista homered and drove in three runs for the Pirates. He has three homers and seven RBI in the last two games.

Washington, which has won five of six, pushed across four runs in the sixth inning to take a 9-5 lead. Wily Mo Pena led off with an infield squibber for a hit against Paul Maholm (2-3), who walked pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard before being yanked in favor of Franquelis Osoria.

Lopez hit a flyball to right that Xavier Nady lost in the sun and Guzman cleared the bases with a double to right-center. Austin Kearns added a two-out RBI single.

Jesus Colome (1-1) got five outs and Jon Rauch worked the ninth for his seventh save in nine opportunities.

Maholm, who pitched a two-hitter in his last start April 27, gave up seven runs and 10 hits, walked three and struck out two.

"The first two innings, for some reason, I didn't have it. Couldn't follow through, and for some reason, I was falling behind everybody, trying to fight back," Maholm said. "You can't let them get ahead that early."

The Nationals sent nine men to the plate and scored three runs in the second to take a 5-1 lead. Guzman hit a bases-loaded RBI single, Ryan Zimmerman drove in a run with a fielder's choice and Lastings Milledge added a run-scoring single.

Bautista hit a leadoff homer against Washington starter Matt Chico in the fourth, and the Pirates knocked the left-hander from the game during a three-run fifth.

Freddy Sanchez singled with one out, went to third on Jason Bay's double and scored on an infield single by Nady. Adam LaRoche then singled in Bay and Chico departed. Bautista tied it with an RBI single off Colome.

Chico allowed five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits and three walks. He struck out four.

Nady doubled home two runs off Luis Ayala in the eighth, making it 9-8.

"We had a lot of opportunities early in the game," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We had a couple of opportunities later to add on. You can't fault the guys. They continue to swing the bats. They got down early and came back."

Guzman put Washington ahead 2-0 in the first, homering to left after a leadoff single by Lopez. It was Guzman's third of the year.

Notes

  • Zimmerman played in his 370th game, making him the Nationals' career leader in games played. He had been tied with former Washington C Brian Schneider.
  • Nady was struck in the helmet by Chico in the third, but remained in the game despite sustaining a glancing blow to the temple area.
  • INF Jack Wilson, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf, has suffered a setback in his comeback, according to Russell. Wilson's rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Altoona, which was to have begun Saturday, has been postponed until late next week.
  • Both teams wore the uniforms of the Homestead Grays in a Negro Leagues tribute. Washington donned 1942 home whites and Pittsburgh was attired in 1935 road grays.
  • Guzman also had six RBI on June 24, 2001, for Minnesota at Detroit.
 
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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Cristian Guzman breaks out in a big way for a career-high of six RBI against the Pirates.  (AP)
Cristian Guzman breaks out in a big way for a career-high of six RBI against the Pirates. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

C. Guzman
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 6
Pittsburgh

J. Bautista
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF5100112 .325
Chris Gomez, SS4010111 .264
Freddy Sanchez, 2B5220012 .230
Jason Bay, LF3220212 .267
Xavier Nady, RF4133012 .342
Adam LaRoche, 1B5021016 .179
Jose Bautista, 3B4233000 .235
Ronny Paulino, C4001122 .227
    Nyjer Morgan, PR0000000 .111
Paul Maholm, P3010002 .182
    Franquelis Osoria, P0000000 .500
   a- Doug Mientkiewicz, PH1000002 .191
    John Van Benschoten, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Doumit, PH1000001 .361
Totals39814858  
a-grounded out for Osoria in the 7th
b-flied out for Yates in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chris Gomez (3, Chico), Jason Bay (3, Chico), Xavier Nady (10, Ayala), Jose Bautista (7, Chico)
HR - Jose Bautista (4, Chico)
SF - Jose Bautista (2)
RBI - Xavier Nady 3 (30), Adam LaRoche (6), Jose Bautista 3 (15), Ronny Paulino (8)
2-OUT RBI - Xavier Nady 2 (15)
SB - Nyjer Morgan (1, 2nd base off Rauch/Lo Duca)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Xavier Nady 1
DP - Gomez-F. Sanchez-LaRoche, J. Bautista-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
E - Chris Gomez 2 (2, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (L,2-3) 51077321 4.58
Franquelis Osoria 1322010 6.65
John Van Benschoten 1.1100110 4.91
Tyler Yates 0.2000100 3.77
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 102-58, Franquelis Osoria 21-14, John Van Benschoten 20-12, Tyler Yates 13-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 8-4, John Van Benschoten 2-1
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 27, Franquelis Osoria 6, John Van Benschoten 6, Tyler Yates 3
Washington Nationals
Felipe Lopez, 2B4320101 .283
Cristian Guzman, SS5246000 .303
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5001001 .217
Lastings Milledge, CF5011011 .261
Austin Kearns, RF3021200 .202
Aaron Boone, 1B5010018 .242
Paul Lo Duca, C3110101 .231
Wily Mo Pena, LF4120012 .217
    Willie Harris, LF0000000 .189
Matt Chico, P1110000 .167
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
   a- Ronnie Belliard, PH0100100 .214
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
   b- Rob Mackowiak, PH1000010 .095
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
Totals36914954  
a-walked for Colome in the 6th
b-struck out for Rivera in the 7th
Batting
2B - Cristian Guzman (8, Osoria)
HR - Cristian Guzman (3, Maholm)
SH - Matt Chico (1)
RBI - Cristian Guzman 6 (14), Ryan Zimmerman (14), Lastings Milledge (11), Austin Kearns (12)
2-OUT RBI - Lastings Milledge (6), Austin Kearns (9)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - F. Lopez-Guzman-A. Boone
E - Austin Kearns (1, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
Matt Chico 4.1854341 6.87
Jesus Colome (W,1-1) 1.2100010 2.95
Saul Rivera 1311010 4.43
Luis Ayala (H,8) 1222120 3.63
Jon Rauch (S,7) 1000100 3.52
HBP - Nady (by Matt Chico)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Chico 87-51, Jesus Colome 23-16, Saul Rivera 23-16, Luis Ayala 26-18, Jon Rauch 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Chico 5-3, Jesus Colome 2-2, Saul Rivera 1-1, Luis Ayala 1-0, Jon Rauch 1-2
Batters Faced - Matt Chico 24, Jesus Colome 6, Saul Rivera 6, Luis Ayala 6, Jon Rauch 4
Game Information
Attendance - 34128
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Field Culbreth