Nationals top Pirates 5-2, end 4-game skid

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm •  Published: May 25, 2014
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ian Desmond came through with runners in scoring position for the Washington Nationals.

Desmond hit a pair of run-scoring singles to lead Washington to a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, snapping the Nationals' four-game losing streak.

Washington was 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position. That might not seem like a lot, but it felt like plenty for the Nationals and their struggling offense.

The Nationals had gone 2 for 27 with runners in scoring position during their skid.

"Base hits with runners in scoring position, that's how you win ballgames," Washington manager Matt Williams said.

Desmond got it done twice.

He singled in the first inning to put the Nationals ahead 2-0 then made it 5-1 with his single in the seventh, helping end the Pirates' four-game winning streak.

Denard Span and Jayson Werth also had two hits for the Nationals, who scored just seven runs during their skid.

"It's nice to get some big hits," Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon said. "We haven't had many lately, but we've tried to stay on an even keel the best we could and we finally got some clutch hits today."

Doug Fister (2-1) allowed one run and six hits in 5 1-3 innings with four strikeouts and no walks. He has given up two runs in 17 1-3 innings in his past three starts. Rafael Soriano pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save.

"We were executing and getting ground balls," said Fister, the right-hander who was the starter and winner.

"We played a lot of good defense. Guys were running downs balls and turning double plays. And we got on a roll with our hitting, too. It's a day of good baseball."

Francisco Liriano (0-5) is winless in 14 consecutive regular-season starts, dating to last Sept. 10 when he won at Texas. He gave up four runs, six hits and four walks in five innings while striking out five.

"I'm not doing my job at all," Liriano said. "I'm not going deep into games and I'm not keeping the team in the ballgame."