Doumit Powers Pirates Over Nats 7-5

Posted by Dave Nichols | Friday, June 13, 2008 | , , , | 0 comments »

Pittsburgh, PA -- Ryan Doumit, catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, went 2-for-3 with his fourth home run of the series and drove in three of the Pirates seven runs, leading his team past the visiting Washington Nationals 7-5 in a Thursday matinee in the River City. Doumit was absolutely on fire in the three-game series, going 9-for-11 with four home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs to help the Pirates take two out of three from the Nationals.

The Pirates jumped all over Nats starter Jason Bergmann (L, 1-4, 5.48), scoring two in the first, two in the second and two in the fifth. Bergmann finished the day going four and two-thirds innings, surrendering six runs -- four earned -- on eight hits and one walk. He struck out two. In the first, Pirates third baseman Freddy Sanchez reached on Ronnie Belliard's throwing error and Doumit launched a 2-2 pitch to right field, continuing his dominance of Washington pitching. In the second, Doug Mientkiewicz, Chris Gomez and Jack Wilson all singled consecutively off Bergmann, and Bergmann compounded the trouble by then walking pitcher Tom Gorzelanny, forcing in a run. Nate McLouth then hit a sacrifice fly to score Gomez. It could have been worse, but Sanchez grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Nats got one back in the third, as Cristian Guzman (3-for-5, 3 RBIs) singled and scored on Elijah Dukes' triple with one out. But the Nats stranded Dukes there, as Lastings Milledge popped out to second and Aaron Boone flied out to left.

The fifth inning would be Bergmann's final undoing. Gorzelanny helped his case again by singling to center and McLouth hit a ground-rule double to right. Jason Bay then sacrificed to right field, scoring Gorzelanny, and Doumit singled in McLouth. Gorzelanny got the win, his fifth of the season against five losses, going five and two-thirds innings, with three earned runs on six hits, three walks and six strikeouts.

The Nats wouldn't roll over Thursday though. In the sixth inning they started to claw back. Wily Mo Pena doubled with one out, and Wil Nieves walked with two outs. Dmitri Young pinch-hit for reliever Brian Sanches and drew another walk, filling the bases. Guzman delivered for the Nats, singling up the middle, bringing in Pena and Nieves and pushing Young up to second base. Dukes then hit one to right that scored Young from second, but Dukes was gunned out trying to stretch the hit into a double.

The score was 6-4 entering the eighth and the Nats would strike again. Ryan Langerhans singled with one out and went to third on Young's single up the middle. Guzman provided yet another big hit, driving in Langerhans, cutting the lead to 6-5. But that's as close as it would get, as Dukes and Milledge would both strike out against Pittsburgh reliever Franquelis Osoria with two runners aboard. The Bucs would get an insurance run in the bottom of the frame off Jon Rauch (1 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, 1 BB) with pinch-hitter Jason Michaels driving in Gomez with a double.

The Pirates turned to Damaso Marte to close the ninth inning, having used their closer Matt Capps in four straight ball games. Marte was perfect, retiring Jesus Flores, Belliard and Pena in order, finishing off the Nats and giving the Pirates the series victory.

On Friday, the Nationals return to interleague play, with their very first games against the Seattle Mariners. Shawn Hill (0-3, 4.35) faces Miguel Batista (3-7, 6.00) in the 10:10 pm EDT start at Seattle's Safeco Field.

NATS NOTES: The loss drops the Nationals record to 26-42, thirteen and one-half games behind Philadelphia entering play Thursday night.

Aaron Boone left the game in the sixth inning with a strain on the right side of his neck. After the game, Boone said he'd likely be back in the line-up within "a day or two".

LHP Odalis Perez will miss his next start, and is a candidate for the disabled list now, according to Manager Manny Acta.

Photo courtesy of A. Amobi, DC Sports Box.

Doumit Powers Pirates Over Nats 7-5 also posted at DC Sports Box