Pirates Vs. Nationals: Pirates Blow Late Lead In Second Game, Split Doubleheader With Washington

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Pirates Vs. Nationals: Pittsburgh Falls In Second Game, 4-3

The Pirates’ bullpen received another lead and like Friday, they found a way to squander it.

With a 3-2 lead and after a scoreless inning by Daniel McCutchen, Clint Hurdle called upon Chris Resop and Tony Watson to deliver the game to closer Joel Hanrahan. Unfortunately, both gave up an earned run, handing the Nationals a 4-3 victory. Xavier Paul singled in the ninth with two outs, but Eric Fryer grounded out to end any chance of a comeback.

The story of the game for Pittsburgh was the successful return of prospect Brad Lincoln. Lincoln, who debuted against the Nationals last season, had a much better outing this time around, allowing only two runs through six innings. he did struggle with his control at times, walking three, but all in all, put together a very solid effort.

Of note was the fact that outfielder Andrew McCutchen hit for the cycle over the two games and went 5-for-8 at the plate.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals: Late Home Runs By Andrew McCutchen And Garrett Jones Lead Bucs To Victory

In the first game of a doubleheader, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Washington Nationals, 5-3.

Starter James McDonald went 6.1 innings, striking out seven and giving up only two runs. Pittsburgh held a 2-1 lead until the seventh when the Nats' Rick Ankiel went deep for only his second home run of the season to tie the game.

The Pirates looked like they could blow a lead for the second straight game, but Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones rescued the team with a pair of eighth-inning solo homers. Matt Diaz singled home Brandon Wood in the ninth for a three-run cushion. Bucs' closer Joel Hanrahan working the ninth gave up a run, but held on for his 24th save.

Pittsburgh got some bad news prior to the game as shortstop Ronny Cedeno was added to the seven-day DL with a concussion. Pedro Ciriaco was recalled from AAA.

As somewhat of a side note, ESPN had a great story recalled by Clint Hurdle after the game:

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle offered an amusing story about playing for Johnson in the minors in Norfolk. "In the first game, the third baseman broke his hand and he looked in the dugout and asked me if I ever played third base," Hurdle said. "And I said 'Absolutely.' So I played the second game at third base, and about three days later he called me into the office and said, 'You've never played third base in your life, have you?' 'Absolutely not." Nevertheless, Johnson kept Hurdle at third, and Hurdle said it helped re-ignite his career. "We took infield every day, just mainly for Clint," Johnson said.

Check back for the game two recap at the conclusion of tonight's doubleheader.

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