McCutchen, McDonald lead Pirates past Nationals

May 17, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Andrew McCutchen homered twice, James McDonald took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and struck out a career-high 11, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Washington Nationals 5-3 on Thursday night.

McDonald retired his first 13 batters — striking out nine — and was helped by two spectacular plays on defense, from Casey McGehee at first base and McCutchen in center field. The right-hander walked Bryce Harper with one out in the fifth.

In the sixth, carrying a 4-0 lead, McDonald weakened and allowed consecutive doubles to Jesus Flores and Steve Lombardozzi to start the inning. Flores held at third because he wasn't sure Lombardozzi's ball was going to drop. Ryan Zimmerman's single drove in both runners, and Adam LaRoche's triple scored Zimmerman.

McDonald (3-2) was pulled after 5 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs and four hits with one walk.

Tony Watson retired the final batter of the sixth. Juan Cruz pitched a scoreless seventh, Jason Grilli worked the eighth and Joel Hanrahan the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.

Jordan Zimmermann (2-4) gave up a season-high four runs and seven hits in six innings, walking one and striking out six.

McCutchen hit a two-out shot into the right-field bullpen in the first and led off the sixth with his second homer of the game. He has five this season and continued his torrid hitting against the Nationals. He's batting .442 with 10 home runs in 23 games against Washington.

Rod Barajas added a two-run homer in the fourth, his third. He had three hits.

Neil Walker drove in the fifth run for Pittsburgh in the seventh on an infield out.

NOTES: Nationals OF Michael Morse, who hasn't played this season because of an injured back muscle, will probably report to Viera, Fla., early next week to begin playing in games, manager Davey Johnson. He had hoped Morse would return to be the designated hitter when the Nationals play in Boston on June 8, but Morse told Johnson he could play a week earlier. ... Washington INF Mark DeRosa is probably a week from returning from a left oblique strain, Johnson said. ... The Nationals play a three-game series against the Orioles beginning Friday. Washington RHP Edwin Jackson pitches against RHP Jake Arrieta. ... The Pirates open a three-game series in Detroit on Friday. Pittsburgh will send RHP Charlie Morton to the mound against Justin Verlander.

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