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Jones and McCutchen power Pirates past Nationals

Jul 2, 2011 - 11:45 PM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen connected on back-to-back, eighth-inning home runs to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Washington Nationals, 5-3, in the opener of a doubleheader.

Jones finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Jose Veras (2-2) threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to record the win.

Joel Hanrahan allowed a Jayson Werth RBI single in the ninth, but settled in to record his 24th save of the season.

Sean Burnett (3-5) entered a 2-2 tie in the eighth and surrendered the decisive home runs.

Rick Ankiel had previously tied the contest with a pinch-hit homer in the seventh.

On Friday, the Nationals halted a three-game skid and handed Davey Johnson his first win since taking the reins courtesy of a Matt Stairs game-winning, pinch-hit single in the opener of this four-game set.

The Pirates wasted little time rebounding from last night's loss, pushing two across in the first.

Chase d'Arnaud reached on a fielder's choice and stole second before Jones brought him home with a single to right. After McCutchen placed runners at second and third with his 19th double of the season, Neil Walker's sac fly plated Jones.

After going down in order in the home half, the Nationals responded in the second behind three consecutive one-out singles from Michael Morse, Danny Espinosa and Ivan Rodriguez. Morse scored easily on Rodriguez's line drive to right center, cutting the Pirates' advantage in half.

The Nationals pulled even in the seventh, as pinch-hitter Ankiel worked the count full before sending a curveball into the seats in right-center.

Roger Bernadina then worked a one-out walk to force James McDonald from the game.

Jose Veras spelled McDonald and induced Werth into a fly out to left. Bernadina attempted to tag on the play, but was cut down thanks to a strong relay from Alex Presley to d'Arnaud to Walker.

In all, McDonald allowed just two runs on seven hits and three walks while fanning seven.

Livan Hernandez turned in a strong performance as well, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six.

He was pulled in favor of Burnett to begin the eighth and the Pirates promptly took advantage. Following a d'Arnaud line out, Jones belted a 2-2 sinker deep over the wall in center to put the Pirates back on top.

McCutchen followed with a blast to left, which cleared the fence and found a home in the visitor's bullpen.

The next half-inning, Washington placed runners on first and second with one down, but Veras forced Espinosa and Rodriguez into a fly out and a groundout, respectively.

Pittsburgh added insurance in the ninth, as Brandon Wood led off with a walk, advanced to second on Michael McKenry's sac bunt and scored on pinch-hitter Matt Diaz's single to right.

Game Notes

Entering the contest, Burnett had allowed just one home run all season...The Pirates ended a six-game losing streak at Nationals Park...Since May 31, Washington is 11-2 at home.