Washington at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
Washington (10-10) «0040100106153
Pittsburgh (9-12)1002000003110

Morse, LaRoche lead Nationals over Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Morse didn't lose confidence during a sub-.200 start three weeks into the season. The rest of the Washington Nationals lineup maintains it hasn't, either.

Morse had a three-run homer among his three-hits, Adam LaRoche also homered and the Nationals had a season-high 15 hits in beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 on Sunday.

Morse broke out last season with 15 home runs in only 266 at-bats but had only one extra-base hit through 17 games this season. Washington's offense ranked next-to-last in the majors in batting average over that same span.

More on Nationals at Pirates
Related links
Fantasy videos

Washington's six runs were more than the total they had scored during a three-game losing streak.

"We've got a lot of good players; we're going to win our share of games," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. "When we're hitting on all cylinders, we'll be fine. But we've got to win games when we're not hitting on all cylinders."

Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth threw out Andrew McCutchen at home plate to end the game. McCutchen threw his helmet to the ground in disgust and manager Clint Hurdle argued with umpire Kerwin Danley.

Morse's drive was his first of the season and came during the Nationals' four-run third inning that helped Jason Marquis win his second consecutive start and his fifth straight decision against Pittsburgh since 2008.

Danny Espinosa had three hits with a run and Marquis (2-0) also had two hits to raise his season average to .400 for Washington.

Neil Walker had three hits and an RBI for the Pirates, who have lost four of five.

Drew Storen earned his third save -- all coming in his last three appearances.

Morse took a 2-2 pitch from Kevin Correia to left with Rick Ankiel and Werth aboard in the third.

"Absolutely, I've kept my confidence," Morse said. "That's one thing I won't lose is confidence in myself.

"I saw a pitch and I hit it," he said. "It was a fastball and I got a good part of the barrel and it went out."

The two-out clout came after it appeared as if Correia would escape a bases-loaded jam with none out by allowing only one run on a grounder.

LaRoche, a former Pirates player, led off the fifth with his third homer, to right, to make it 5-3.

"You look at the averages right now, and it's not real good and there's not a ton of guys on base," LaRoche said. "I don't think you're ever going to have everybody clicking at once, but if we can get the majority of the guys going and getting a lot of guys on base, we've shown we've got one-through-nine today that can drive in runs."

Marquis continued the Nationals' season-long streak of their starters going at least five innings by allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings. Marquis, who had two strikeouts, has more wins against the Pirates (12) than any other team. He has won nine of his past 11 decisions against Pittsburgh.

"I felt like I was getting better as the game went on," Marquis said. "Felt like my stuff was getting better, felt like I was getting stronger."

Correia (3-2) failed in his first attempt at becoming the first Pirates pitcher to win four games in April since Jeff Suppan in 2003. He fell to 0-2 at home by allowing five runs on 11 hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings with two strikeouts.

Pittsburgh has scored more runs in the first than any other inning this season. After scoring five in a 7-2 win over Washington on Saturday, Walker gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead Sunday with a one-out single that drove in McCutchen.

Pittsburgh scored twice in the fourth on Chris Snyder's sacrifice fly and Ronny Cedeno's RBI double.

"We had a pretty good inning. ... We felt like we were in the game the whole time today but we weren't just able to get those few extra runs," McCutchen said. "We got the short end of the stick today."

On getting thrown out at the plate to end the game with his team down three runs, McCutchen shrugged it off and refused to elaborate on whether he believed he was safe.

Hurdle didn't criticize the decision.

"You never want to make the last out at home, but sometimes those things are going to happen," Hurdle said. "It's not a perfect world, it's not a perfect game, but our mentality is to play aggressive."

Notes

  • The Nationals activated RHP Todd Coffey (strained left calf) from the 15-day DL.
  • Two days after a postponement and a day after the start of the game was delayed by 1 hour, 11 minutes, neither team was able to take batting practice Sunday because of morning rain. Although it was dry at first pitch, a light rain began to fall during the third inning and lasted throughout much of the remainder of the game.
  • Washington's Jerry Hairston and Ivan Rodriguez each had two hits.
  • The first Easter game in Pittsburgh since 2006 drew only 9,520.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
Washington

M. Morse
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

N. Walker
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

December 22, 2014
Cowboys at Redskins Preview (2:58)
December 21, 2014
TOPS: Bart Scott talks NFL headlines (12/21)
(7:01)
December 17, 2014
Fantasy Update: Robert Griffin III
(0:41)
December 16, 2014
Jim Rome: Right call to bring Jay Gruden back?
(1:59)
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Danny Espinosa, 2B5130011 .281
Rick Ankiel, CF4100100 .213
Jayson Werth, RF5100015 .200
Adam LaRoche, 1B5122010 .227
Michael Morse, LF4133010 .259
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Stairs, PH1000011 .000
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B4020010 .184
Ivan Rodriguez, C4020001 .194
Alex Cora, SS4100004 .111
Jason Marquis, P3020000 .400
    Laynce Nix, LF1011000 .300
Totals40615616  
a-struck out for Clippard in the 9th
Batting
2B - Laynce Nix (1, Crotta)
HR - Adam LaRoche (3, Correia), Michael Morse (1, Correia)
RBI - Adam LaRoche 2 (8), Michael Morse 3 (8), Laynce Nix (7)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Morse 3 (4), Laynce Nix (1)
SB - Danny Espinosa (1, 2nd base off Correia/Snyder)
CS - Michael Morse (1, 2nd base by Correia/Snyder)
PK - Danny Espinosa (1, D. McCutchen)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jayson Werth 1
DP - LaRoche-Cora-Marquis, Clippard-Cora-LaRoche, Werth-Rodriguez
E - Danny Espinosa (3, Throwing(mccutcheon to 2nd on wild throw by hairston, to 3rd on mishandling of t), Jerry Hairston Jr. 2 (4, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Marquis (W,2-0) 6833220 3.55
Tyler Clippard (H,6) 2200020 1.26
Drew Storen (S,3) 1100010 0.71
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 100-63, Tyler Clippard 25-16, Drew Storen 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 12-4, Tyler Clippard 1-2
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 28, Tyler Clippard 7, Drew Storen 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrew McCutchen, CF5120012 .233
Jose Tabata, LF5010002 .284
Lyle Overbay, 1B3010101 .256
Neil Walker, 2B4031000 .266
Garrett Jones, RF3100114 .241
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4120012 .216
Chris Snyder, C3011003 .348
Ronny Cedeno, SS4011002 .197
Kevin Correia, P1000000 .000
    Daniel McCutchen, P0000000 .000
   a- John Bowker, PH1000011 .200
    Mike Crotta, P0000000 .000
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Diaz, PH1000010 .265
Totals34311325  
a-struck out for D. McCutchen in the 6th
b-struck out for Veras in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andrew McCutchen (4, Marquis), Pedro Alvarez (4, Marquis), Ronny Cedeno (3, Marquis)
SF - Chris Snyder (1)
SH - Kevin Correia (4)
RBI - Neil Walker (13), Chris Snyder (6), Ronny Cedeno (6)
Team LOB - 8
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Correia (L,3-2) 4.21155122 3.48
Daniel McCutchen 1.1100000 0.00
Mike Crotta 2211020 4.66
Jose Veras 1100020 4.32
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 84-54, Daniel McCutchen 12-8, Mike Crotta 28-18, Jose Veras 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 10-1, Daniel McCutchen 2-1, Mike Crotta 3-1, Jose Veras 1-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 25, Daniel McCutchen 4, Mike Crotta 8, Jose Veras 4
Game Information
Attendance - 9520
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Dana DeMuth