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MLB: Pirates score twice in ninth to overtake Nationals

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Ke’Bryan Hayes’ RBI single in the ninth inning, his first career walk-off hit, capped a two-run rally that gave the host Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

With Pittsburgh trailing 3-2 and facing reliever Patrick Murphy (0-2), Anthony Alford led off the ninth with a single to right-center and went to second on a wild pitch. Ben Gamel walked, and both runners advanced on another wild pitch.

Cole Tucker popped out before Alberto Baldonado replaced Murphy. Pinch hitter Colin Moran grounded out to shortstop, with Alford scoring to tie it. Hayes’ base hit to right brought in Gamel to end the game.

Alford also homered for the Pirates (51-90), who have won three of four.

Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault exited after two innings because of left (throwing) arm discomfort. He gave up two runs and two hits with two walks and one strikeout.

Chad Kuhl (5-6) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to earn the win.

Josh Bell homered against his former club, Riley Adams added an RBI triple and Lane Thomas hit an RBI single for the Nationals (58-83), who have lost 11 of 14.

Washington’s Josh Rogers, making his second start since coming back from Tommy John surgery, pitched 6 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs and eight hits with one walk and one strikeout.

The Nationals played without manager Dave Martinez, who received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for an incident Wednesday when Nationals pitcher Sean Nolan hit Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman with a pitch. Tim Bogar served as acting manager.

Washington took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Carter Kieboom drew a four-pitch walk. An out later, Adams tripled as the ball skipped past Alford in left, driving in Kieboom. Another out later, Thomas’s single to left brought Adams home.

The Pirates cut the deficit in half in the third. Tucker doubled to left-center, went to third on Cody Ponce’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Hayes’ sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-1.

In the sixth against Pittsburgh reliever Sam Howard, Bell clouted his 26th homer, to left-center, to boost the Nationals’ lead to 3-1.

Alford answered in the seventh, hitting his fifth homer to right, pulling the Pirates to within 3-2.

–Field Level Media

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