PNC Park | 7:05 | Maholm vs. Tim Redding | Box
It was bound to happen eventually. And it finally did: Matt Capps blew a save. Lastings Milledge cracked a two run homer – the fifth long ball of the day for Washington – with two out in the 9th to give the Nationals the lead and the win.
Things looked solid early for the Pirates. They were leading 4-1 after six innings. Ryan Doumit had homered twice and knocked in three on his way to a 4-4 performance. His other two hits were both doubles. Ronnie Belliard’s solo shot in the fifth was the only tally for the Nats. But Dmitri Young, Jesus Flores and Belliard hit solo homers in the 7th to tie the score and chase Maholm from the game.
In the 8th, Belliard delivered a two out RBI single to make it 5-4. But, the Pirates battled back, plating two off of three Washington relievers in the home half of the 8th to set the stage for Milledge in the 9th.
Maholm gave up 10 hits and four runs – all of which were accounted for by solo dingers – in 6-2/3 innings. Nats starter Tim Redding gave up four runs in six innings on eight hits.
This was the third time in his career that Doumit had four hits in one game and also the third time that he hit two homers in the same game.
Tim Redding’s season mark is 6-3 with an ERA that is just about league average. He beat the Pirates on May 4 with 6-1/3 innings of one run ball. His last three outings have been rough. He has given up 11 earned runs in 16-2/3 inning of work and is winless over that stretch.
He is 2-2 with a 3.53 ERA against the Pirates. He is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts at PNC. Jack Wilson is 8-24 against Redding and is the only Pirate with more than three career hits off him. He has surrendered just one homer – to Adam LaRoche – in 60 career Pittsburgh hitters faced.
After being winless for a month, Paul Maholm has won his last two starts. He last won three straight starts in August of 2007. Here’s hoping he does it again. Mahholm was rocked by the Nats back on May 3.
In three career starts, he has yet to beat Washington. Maholm is 0-2 with a 6.38 ERA in 18-1/3 innings pitched. In 52 cumulative at bats, the Nats have smacked four homers off of Maholm. Jesus Flores, Cristian Guzman, Felipe Lopez and Lastings Milledge each have homered off of Maholm.
The Pirates can pull to within one game under .500 with a win today.
I was trying to think of the last time a Pirates player was involved in a bench clearing incident. I’m not counting the Gerald Perry/Dave Duncan slap fest before a Bucs/Cards game in the waning hours of the Lloyd McClendon era. Was it really the Jason Kendall vs. Joe Kennedy incident from August 15, 2004?