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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.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.