Nationals fight back but fall in extras
Washington overcomes early hole before falling to Bucs
WASHINGTON -- After the Nationals rallied back from an early five-run deficit, reliever Joe Beimel gave up three runs in the top of the 10th inning as Washington lost to the Pirates, 8-5, at Nationals Park on Tuesday night.
With runners on first and third and two outs in the 10th, Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche swung at the first pitch he saw and hit a two-run double to give Pittsburgh a 7-5 lead. LaRoche then scored on a single by Brandon Moss.
Since being activated from the disabled list on May 5, Beimel has given up nine runs in 8 1/3 innings. He acknowledged he ran out of gas when he pitched the 10th inning. Beimel ended up throwing 42 pitches in the game. It marked the second time this month that Beimel has thrown that many pitches.
"I'm just not making my pitches," Beimel said. "Tonight, I threw a good first inning and I kind of ran out of gas in the second one. I didn't have a whole lot left and tried to get through it. One pitch away and I didn't do it. ... I have no excuses. I have to make the pitches when you are close from getting out of it with the score tied. I just didn't make a good pitch."
Right-hander Shairon Martis rebounded from a tough start to turn in a decent outing, earning a no-decision and remaining unbeaten (5-0). He had problems keeping the ball down and he paid the price in the first and third innings.
In the first inning, eight Pirates came to the plate and three runs scored in the process. Moss highlighted the scoring with a two-run double. Two innings later, Andy LaRoche hit a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 game.
"The fastball wasn't like it used to be. The slider was hanging and up in the zone," Martis said.
However, Martis retired the next 10 hitters he faced.
"I thought he started off being passive," Nationals manager Manny Acta said about Martis. "He wasn't aggressive enough with the first two hitters of the game. He got hurt on offspeed pitches. I believe he needed to establish his fastball first in the first inning. That first inning kind of hurt, but after that, he recuperated real well. He had a few 1-2-3 innings and gave us a chance."
The Nationals' offense would make a comeback against right-hander Jeff Karstens.
In the bottom of the fourth, Adam Dunn hit a solo home run. Two innings later, Washington made it a one-run game by scoring three runs.
The Nationals tied the game in the ninth inning. With runners on first and third, one out and Dunn at the plate, Pittsburgh left-hander Sean Burnett uncorked a wild pitch to score Nick Johnson and tie the score at 5. It marked the 10th game in a row in which the Nationals scored five or more runs. However, they are 1-9 in those games.
"We continue to battle and put runs on the board," Acta said. "We are 1-9 [in those games] and that tells you the story right there. ... We weren't able to hold them."
The Nationals had a chance to win the game in the ninth. With Ryan Zimmerman on second, Dunn struck out for the second out of the inning. After Josh Willingham walked to put runners on first and second, Willie Harris came to the plate to face left-hander Tom Gorzelanny.
Harris found himself behind in the count, 0-2. He then worked the count to 2-2. But on the fifth pitch, Gorzelanny threw his fifth straight slider and Harris was caught looking for the final out of the inning.
"We fought back and had a shot," Harris said. "I couldn't come up with a big hit, especially the way things are going for us. We had a chance to win the game right there. Now I have to think about it for tonight until I get another opportunity to do it again.
"I guarantee you, we are up there trying our best. We are not up there giving games away or giving at-bats away. But we have to somehow come up with big hits, we have to somehow come up with big pitches, we have to somehow come up with big plays to turn this whole thing around."
Washington has lost six straight games, dropping its record to 11-27.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.