Barajas' homer lifts Pirates past Nationals 5-4

AP - Sports
Barajas' homer lifts Pirates past Nationals 5-4
.

View gallery

Pittsburgh Pirates' Rod Barajas, top right, is greeted by teammates after hitting a two-run home run …

PITTSBURGH (AP) Rod Barajas knows the Pittsburgh Pirates didn't pick up the veteran catcher in free agency to hit .131 with no homers and no RBI during the first month of the season.

Yet even as his woes mounted, manager Clint Hurdle stuck by Barajas, sending him to the batter's box with the tying run on third and two outs in the ninth against Washington on Tuesday night.

''I thought what the heck? He's hit a few homers before,'' Hurdle said.

Hurdle's faith paid off when Barajas drilled a two-run homer off closer Henry Rodriguez to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-4 victory.

The Nationals went ahead 4-3 after Adam LaRoche's two-run blast in the top of the ninth off Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan.

Alex Presley singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth off Rodriguez (1-2) and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches before Barajas broke through.

''I kind of figured (Rodriguez) was going to come hard,'' Barajas said. ''I wasn't going to let one go by if it was where I like it.''

Tony Watson (2-0) earned the victory after replacing Hanrahan.

Rodriguez, perhaps unsettled after walking Presley then letting him advance to third by bouncing a pair of breaking balls past catcher Wilson Ramos, threw a fastball that Barajas hit into the seats for his first home run since last September when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

''(Rodriguez) usually has pretty good command of his curveball and that kind of got him in a jam and I thought he was still going to get out of it,'' Washington manager Davey Johnson said. ''Obviously, Barajas knows he's going to get a fastball and he gets out in front, and that's the ball game.''

Barajas raised his arms in triumph and nearly slipped rounding first base before getting mobbed by his teammates after crossing the plate.

It was vindication for Barajas, who was booed heavily after popping up in the seventh inning.

''I'd love to be doing better, nobody wants to hear that from your home fans,'' he said. ''I was in a situation where I was able to put them back on my side. Hopefully they'll give me a little more leeway.''

Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season for the Pirates and Garrett Jones added his fourth. Neil Walker gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth with a sacrifice fly off Washington reliever Tyler Clippard.

The lead lasted all of two batters.

Ryan Zimmerman, playing in his first game since April 20 after spending more than two weeks on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, singled off Hanrahan and LaRoche smashed a 97 mph fastball from Hanrahan just over the wall in center.

The Nationals, who have climbed to the top of the National League East thanks to nine wins in one-run games, turned to Rodriguez. He struggled against the bottom third of one of baseball's weakest lineups while blowing his second save of the season.

''I feel terrible for Henry,'' LaRoche said. ''He wants to win as bad as anybody. I know it's killing him... with the little things that are going on. And then to throw 100 and have a guy run into it to walk you off, it's frustrating.''

Washington rookie outfielder Bryce Harper went 1 for 4 with a double while starting in right field in place of Jayson Werth, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list after breaking his left wrist in a loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Werth will be out at least three months, meaning Harper is likely here to stay. He certainly appears ready. The 19-year-old is batting .300 with six doubles in just nine games.

The late struggles by the closers was in stark contrast to the work done by both starters.

Washington's Edwin Jackson was stellar, giving up three hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking one. He retired the final 10 batters and needed just 91 pitches to deal with baseball's lowest scoring team.

Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett, lit up for 12 runs in 2 2-3 innings by St. Louis last Wednesday, bounced back with the kind of performance the Pirates were looking for when they acquired him in a trade with the New York Yankees in February.

The 35-year-old gave up a solo homer to Ramos leading off the third and an RBI single by Rick Ankiel in the fourth. Otherwise he was dominant and grew stronger as the night wore on, allowing two runs and six hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out 10.

''Both starters pitched a great ballgame and the guys who were supposed to save it both gave it up,'' Johnson said. ''Henry's been pretty good all year long, and he gave up the one that beat us. But he'll be back and he'll be fine.''

NOTES: The Nationals are 9-5 in one-run games this season, with all five losses coming on the road ... The series continues on Wednesday. Ross Detwiler (3-1, 1.59 ERA) will start for the Nationals against Pittsburgh's Erik Bedard (2-4, 2.65) ... Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez is 0 for 8 since moving to cleanup on Saturday.

View Comments
  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Repeat offenders, Lady Byng and overtime thrillers

    Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Repeat offenders, Lady Byng and overtime thrillers

    [Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever … More »

    Puck Daddy - 22 minutes ago
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges, says he was blackmailed as trial opens

    F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges, says he was blackmailed as trial opens

    MUNICH - Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone rejected accusations of bribery as he went on trial Thursday in a case that could threaten his grip on the sport, telling a Munich court that he was blackmailed by a German banker who received a disputed … More »

    The Canadian Press - 23 minutes ago
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges

    F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges

    Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone rejected accusations of bribery as he went on trial Thursday in a case that could threaten his grip on the sport, telling a Munich court that he was blackmailed by a German banker who received a disputed $44 … More »

    AP - Sports - 24 minutes ago
  • Pineda says he'll learn from ejection for pine tar

    Pineda says he'll learn from ejection for pine tar

    The pine tar glistened on Michael Pineda's neck, improving his grip and inviting trouble. The Yankees' right-hander spoke quietly after being ejected in the second inning of the Red Sox' 5-1 win over New York on Wednesday night. And less than two … More »

    AP - Sports - 42 minutes ago
  • Phelps launches comeback in 100m fly

    Phelps launches comeback in 100m fly

    Returning to swimming after a 20-month retirement, Michael Phelps is easing back into the sport he once dominated by racing one of his best events. The 18-time Olympic gold medalist will swim the 100-meter butterfly at the Arena Grand Prix on … More »

    AP - Sports - 43 minutes ago
  • Quiros, Dyson share lead at China Open

    Quiros, Dyson share lead at China Open

    Alvaro Quiros and Simon Dyson each shot a 5-under 67 to share the lead after the first round of the China Open on Thursday. The pair were a stroke ahead of a group of six golfers that included defending champion Brett Rumford of Australia and … More »

    AP - Sports - 48 minutes ago
  • Radwanska rolls into Stuttgart quarters

    Radwanska rolls into Stuttgart quarters

    STUTTGART, Germany (AP) -- Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Italy's Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-2 to book her quarterfinal place at the Porsche Grand Prix on Thursday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 49 minutes ago
  • Everest climbing season in disarray after deaths

    Nepal's attempts to salvage the Mount Everest climbing season fell flat Thursday as major expedition companies canceled their climbs and many Sherpas quit the mountain after an avalanche killed 16 of their fellow guides last week. While the season … More »

    AP - Sports - 59 minutes ago
  • Comcast's Fandango ticket service buys MovieClips

    (Reuters) - Fandango, a movie ticketing service owned by cable company Comcast Corp, is buying MovieClips from Zefr Inc to boost its film-related content. MovieClips, launched in 2009, licenses movie scenes from various studios, puts them up on … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 21 minutes ago
  • No rest for weary Atletico as Valencia trip looms

    No rest for weary Atletico as Valencia trip looms

    By Tim Hanlon BARCELONA, April 24 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid must put their Champions League ambitions to one side when they look to maintain their surprise La Liga title surge in a tough trip to Valencia on Sunday. They are on the verge of … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 45 minutes ago
  • Dyson enjoys happy return to China, shares lead with Quiros

    (Reuters) - Englishman Simon Dyson, who was handed a suspended two-month ban for cheating in December, fired a five-under-par 67 to grab a share of the first round lead at the European Tour's China Open on Thursday. The Englishman fired six birdies … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 54 minutes ago
  • Formula One boss denies bribery at German trial

    Formula One boss denies bribery at German trial

    By Keith Weir MUNICH Germany (Reuters) - Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone denied bribery allegations on Thursday when he went on trial in Germany in a case that threatens to break the Briton's decades-long dominance of the motor sport. … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 55 minutes ago
  • Ajax extend ban on fans travelling to Feyenoord games

    REUTERS - Ajax Amsterdam have extended the ban on their fans attending away league games against arch-rivals Feyenoord in Rotterdam following the riotous behaviour of supporters in Sunday's Dutch Cup final. It ends hopes that a five-year suspension … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 56 minutes ago
  • Guan, 15, getting used to spotlight

    One year after his stunning debut at the Masters, Chinese 15-year-old golfer Guan Tianlang is growing accustomed to being in the spotlight. The teenager's star has risen quickly in China since his breakthrough at Augusta National, where at the age … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 58 minutes ago
  • Bolton Wanderers to rename the Reebok stadium

    (Reuters) - Bolton Wanderers will change the name of their Reebok stadium to the Macron from July as part of a new deal between the Championship club and an Italian sportswear manufacturer. It will be the first change of name for the second tier … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 5 minutes ago
  • Protesters rally against FIFA president Blatter

    A handful of protesters holding banners and placards demonstrated peacefully Thursday at an event with FIFA president Sepp Blatter to highlight the plight of migrant workers building stadiums in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. Blatter was a guest at … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 6 minutes ago
  • Golf-Dyson enjoys happy return to China, shares lead with Quiros

    Englishman Simon Dyson, who was handed a suspended two-month ban for cheating in December, fired a five-under-par 67 to grab a share of the first round lead at the European Tour's China Open on Thursday. The Englishman fired six birdies and a lone … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 19 minutes ago
  • Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

    Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

    Dirk Nowitzki addresses the media following the Game 2 win over the Spurs. … More »

    NBA.com - 2 hours 24 minutes ago
  • Hanyu determined to build on success of Sochi

    Hanyu determined to build on success of Sochi

    Yuzuru Hanyu has barely had time to dwell on the Olympic and world titles he won in the first quarter of 2014, yet he's already thinking about how to improve for next season. Hanyu became the first Japanese man to claim Olympic gold in figure … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 42 minutes ago
  • More teams withdraw, Nepal's Everest season in jeopardy

    By Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Several foreign climbing expeditions have called off attempts to scale Everest following an avalanche that killed at least 13 local guides, meaning Nepal faces an entire season without a single ascent of the … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 45 minutes ago
  • No clubs facing FFP European expulsion - Platini

    No clubs facing FFP European expulsion - Platini

    No clubs can expect to be expelled from European competition next season for breaking financial fair play rules, UEFA president Michel Platini said in an interview on Thursday. UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) policy, designed to stop clubs … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 49 minutes ago
  • No clubs facing European expulsion - Platini

    No clubs facing European expulsion - Platini

    No clubs will be kicked out of European competition next season for breaking financial fair play rules, UEFA president Michel Platini said in an interview on Thursday. UEFA's financial fair play (FFP) policy, designed to stop clubs spending more … More »

    Reuters - 3 hours ago
  • Fast-breaking Real home in on elusive 10th European crown

    Fast-breaking Real home in on elusive 10th European crown

    By Tim Hanlon BARCELONA (Reuters) - Real Madrid took a step closer to an elusive 10th European Cup with a 1-0 home win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday and the Spanish side will hope to finish off the job in Germany having shown how effective they … More »

    Reuters - 4 hours ago
  • Schalke aiming to seal Champions League spot

    By Karolos Grohmann REUTERS - Schalke 04's season could have a happy ending at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday when they hope to claim a Champions League spot after a rollercoaster campaign punctuated by injury problems. Schalke, who … More »

    Reuters - 4 hours ago
  • Sturridge hopeful of returning against Chelsea

    Sturridge hopeful of returning against Chelsea

    REUTERS - Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is optimistic of returning from injury for the key clash against former team mates and title rivals Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday in a boost for the Premier League leaders. "Hopefully this weekend I'll be … More »

    Reuters - 4 hours ago
  • Confident Bayern promise home improvements against Real

    Confident Bayern promise home improvements against Real

    Holders Bayern Munich promised a sharp improvement when they host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final after failing to convert the lion's share of possession into goals in a 1-0 defeat in Spain on Wednesday. Bayern … More »

    Reuters - 5 hours ago
  • Be optimistic about Brazil, says Blatter

    Be optimistic about Brazil, says Blatter

    By Stefanie McIntyre HONG KONG (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter has encouraged fans to be optimistic that the World Cup in Brazil will be a success, amid growing concerns over security and public unrest as workers scramble to finish stadiums … More »

    Reuters - 5 hours ago
  • Announcer relishes role as voice of Kentucky Derby

    Announcer relishes role as voice of Kentucky Derby

    From his perch with a panoramic view of the world's most famous racetrack, the new voice of Churchill Downs will sit out one of the most anticipated moments of the tradition-soaked Kentucky Derby. Larry Collmus will try to tune out ''My Old … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
  • Confident Bayern promise home improvements against Real Madrid

    Confident Bayern promise home improvements against Real Madrid

    By Karolos Grohmann REUTERS - Holders Bayern Munich promised a sharp improvement when they host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final after failing to convert the lion's share of possession into goals in a 1-0 defeat in … More »

    Reuters - 5 hours ago
  • Wednesday's Sports In Brief

    BOSTON (AP) -- Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected for using pine tar less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, and the Red Sox beat New York 5-1 on Wednesday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
  • Flyers lack punch at home on power play

    Flyers lack punch at home on power play

    Back on their home ice, the Philadelphia Flyers fizzled on the power play. The Flyers ranked 25th in the NHL in power-play efficiency at home during the regular season, scoring on 15.1 percent of their chances. In Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the New … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Lions welcome new faces at minicamp

    Lions welcome new faces at minicamp

    Their new coach has been to Super Bowls and the Detroit Lions how have two new players who have championship rings. Free-agent acquisitions Golden Tate and James Ihedigbo - who played on the winning side of the last two Super Bowls - finished their … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Iowa's offense looking to match defense

    Iowa's offense looking to match defense

    Iowa's defense was back among the nation's elite last season. The Hawkeyes' offense failed to follow suit. Getting both units to play at an equally high level will likely be crucial to Iowa's hopes of competing for a Big Ten West title. The … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Mike Trout robs Bryce Harper with impressive diving catch

    Mike Trout robs Bryce Harper with impressive diving catch

    One phenom robs another. … More »

    Big League Stew - 6 hours ago
  • Stars even with Ducks after 4-2 win in Game 4

    Stars even with Ducks after 4-2 win in Game 4

    The young Dallas Stars keep overcoming early 2-0 deficits. With their latest comeback in Game 4, they are now even with the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks. Down in the series after losing the first two games in Anaheim, the Stars trailed by two goals in … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Jets returning to SUNY Cortland for training camp

    The New York Jets are holding training camp at SUNY Cortland again this summer, returning to central New York for the fifth time in the last six years. The team trains on the school's campus, located about three hours from the Jets' facility in … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Road teams off to fast start in playoffs

    Road teams off to fast start in playoffs

    Here's the list of teams that had home-court advantage entering the opening round of these NBA playoffs: Indiana, Miami, Toronto, Chicago, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Houston and the Los Angeles Clippers. Here's the list of teams that still held … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Your Top Plays for Today

    Your Top Plays for Today

    Your Top Plays for Today: AP's Sports Guide … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • The Grand Slam: Mariners snap eight-game losing skid on Kyle Seager’s walk-off homer

    The Grand Slam: Mariners snap eight-game losing skid on Kyle Seager’s walk-off homer

    Kyle Seager and the Mariners bust their slumps in Seattle. … More »

    Big League Stew - 6 hours ago
  • As pitching injuries pile up, Cole Hamels' return gives Phillies shot in the arm

    As pitching injuries pile up, Cole Hamels' return gives Phillies shot in the arm

    With pitchers succumbing one by one to major arm injuries, Philadelphia is thankful Cole Hamels appears healed. … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 7 hours ago