Nationals beat Pirates
Tyler Moore knew what Clint Hurdle was thinking.
With one out and first base open in the eighth inning of a one-run game, Moore fully expected the Pittsburgh Pirates' manager to intentionally walk the batter in front of him. Moore was hitting .158 and had struck out six times in the three-game series.
"It fires you up," Moore said. "I would have done the same thing."
The move backfired, though, as Moore followed the walk to Adam LaRoche by hitting a three-run homer off rookie reliever Bryan Morris to seal the Washington Nationals' 6-2 victory over the Pirates on Sunday.
LaRoche had been 4 for 7 with four walks in the series to that point.
"LaRoche had been on base all weekend and seeing the ball well," Hurdle said. "We decided to go right-on-right there with Morris against Moore and it didn't work out."
Danny Espinosa homered and drove in three runs and Gio Gonzalez (3-2) won for just the third time in seven starts after winning 21 games last season.
Moore homered for the first time this year after hitting 10 in 75 games last season as a rookie. He also hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly Saturday in the ninth inning as the Nationals edged the Pirates 5-4.
"Tyler certainly proved last year that he's a run producer but he's been out of whack this season," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "Hopefully, this is a good sign that things are starting to turn for him."
Nationals star Bryce Harper was ejected in the first inning for disputing a checked-swing third strike. He tried to hold up on a 2-2 pitch from Wandy Rodriguez and home plate umpire Bob Davidson pointed to third base ump John Hirschbeck for help. Hirschbeck ruled that Harper had swung.
Harper stood outside the batter's box, stared at Hirschbeck for a few moments and dropped his bat. Hirschbeck then tossed last season's NL Rookie of the Year. It was the first ejection this year for Harper and second of his career.
"I'm not going to badmouth anybody, I'm just happy we got the W," Harper said.
Said Johnson: "John's a good umpire and he made the right call. It's tough losing a player in the first inning, though."
Starling Marte hit a leadoff homer in the first, his fourth home run in five games for Pittsburgh.
Espinosa's two-run homer in the fourth put Washington ahead for good at 3-1. He also hit a sacrifice fly in the second as the Nationals won for the fourth time in five games.
Giants 4, Dodgers 3: Hunter Pence doubled twice and drove in four runs, and Matt Cain pitched into the eighth inning for his first victory of the season as San Francisco beat Los Angeles.
Leadoff hitter Andres Torres had three hits for San Francisco while Marco Scutaro had two hits and scored twice. The Giants extended their season-high winning streak to six games and defeated Dodgers rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu for the second time this year.
Cain, who pitched six shutout innings against Los Angeles on opening day, gave up one run and five hits in 71-e innings and allowed only one runner past second base while ending the longest winless drought of his career.
Braves 9, Mets 4: Freddie Freeman homered and drove in three runs, and Tim Hudson pitched into the eighth inning as Atlanta beat New York.
Freeman got three hits, including a two-run double off Jonathon Niese (2-3) in a five-run third.
David Wright hit a two-run homer off Hudson (4-1), who gave up three runs on five hits and a walk in 71-e innings.
Cardinals 10, Brewers 1: Jaime Garcia pitched eight innings and Allen Craig drove in four runs to lead St. Louis to the franchise's first four-game sweep of Milwaukee.
Matt Holliday also homered for the Cardinals, who have won six straight.
Garcia (4-1) gave up one run on eight hits in his third straight win.
Marco Estrada (2-2) lasted 31-e innings for the Brewers, who have lost five in a row.
Reds 7, Cubs 4: Joey Votto had three hits, Todd Frazier hit a two-run single and Cincinnati completed a three-game sweep of Chicago.
Mat Latos (3-0) extended his scoreless streak to 21 innings, tying a career high, but didn't pitch past the fifth inning for the first time in seven starts this season. He struck out six and walked three.
J.J. Hoover earned his second save.
Edwin Jackson (0-5) struggled again for the Cubs, allowing four runs and eight hits in five innings.
Padres 5, Diamondbacks 1: Rookie Jedd Gyorko hit a two-run homer with two outs in the sixth and Will Venable followed with a solo shot to help carry Edinson Volquez as San Diego topped Arizona.
Volquez (3-3) won his third straight start and the Padres, who took two of three from the Diamondbacks, won for the eighth time in 11 games. The Diamondbacks have lost five of six.
Ian Kennedy (1-3) has not won since opening day.
In Sunday's Interleague game:
Rays 8, Rockies 3: Alex Cobb pitched effectively into the seventh inning, withstanding three solo homers by Colorado and helping Tampa Bay beat the Rockies.
Jose Lobaton, Ryan Roberts and Kelly Johnson each drove in two runs for the Rays. Tampa Bay took two of three from Colorado and won a series at Coors Field for the first time in four visits.
Cobb (4-2) went 62-e innings and allowed eight hits. Nolan Arenado hit a two-out homer in the seventh that pulled the Rockies within 6-3, a day after the rookie had a grand slam.
Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead in the first off Jhoulys Chacin (3-1), activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game. He'd been out because of a lower back strain.