Sports Betting at
Be Social
Betting Tools

Bucs upset Nats, hold off 9th-inning rally

WASHINGTON (AP) Faced with the based loaded, two outs and one of baseball's hottest hitters at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, there was nowhere Felipe Vazquez wanted to be more than on the mound at Nationals Park.


The Pittsburgh Pirates relief ace then coaxed a flyball from Anthony Rendon to cap a two-inning outing Sunday and preserve a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals.

''I like that excitement,'' Vazquez said. ''He's a good hitter right now and he's been hitting the ball everywhere. For me, that's a challenge. I take every hitter like him as a challenge.''

Rookie Jason Martin's ground-rule double in the ninth inning off Wander Suero (1-1) scored Josh Bell to provide the go-ahead run for the Pirates.

''I was trying to locate it a little differently,'' Suero said of the curveball Martin hit. ''I was trying to get it on the dirt for him to chase it. Unfortunately, I hung it just a little bit and he made contact.''

That set up Vazquez (1-0), who pitched a scoreless eighth, to finish out the victory. He loaded the bases on a single, a walk and Adam Eaton's bunt single with one out, but struck out Howie Kendrick.

That brought up Rendon, who is hitting .400 with six homers in 55 at-bats. On the sixth pitch, Rendon lofted a fly to center to end the game and secure Pittsburgh's first series victory at Nationals Park since 2013.

''I made my own jam, so I had to get out and I worked my way through,'' Vazquez said.

Vazquez, who pitched parts of two seasons for Washington before he was dealt to Pittsburgh in 2016, blossomed into an All-Star last year. He has yet to allow a run in 8 2/3 innings this season.

''The guy is incredibly talented,'' Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. ''When you see him at 100 on his 42nd pitch, and basically you saw the velocity trend up throughout the outing.''

''Just the focus, that competitive spirit, and you're going against a guy with a 10-game streak of extra base hits and he got a hit earlier and the bases are loaded. It's all good stuff, and he loves those situations,'' he said.

Washington starter Max Scherzer allowed three runs and seven hits while working a season-high eight innings. He struck out seven. He gave way to Suero, who walked Bell to lead off the ninth and moved to second on Colin Moran's grounder.

With two outs, Martin hit a ground-rule double to left for his second major league RBI.

''He got some big outs and then he just couldn't finish that last pitch,'' Washington manager Dave Martinez said.

The inning compounded Washington's early-season relief woes. The Nationals entered the day with the worst bullpen ERA in the majors and it rose to 7.75.

Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Rendon extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a single in the sixth.


Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco (left shoulder) had two hits and drove in two runs Saturday in his first rehabilitation appearance at Triple-A Indianapolis. ... RHP Dovydas Neverauskas (oblique strain) had two strikeouts in a scoreless inning Saturday for Indianapolis. He's thrown three scoreless innings during three rehab appearances at Indianapolis and Class A Bradenton.

Nationals: Martinez said 1B Matt Adams, who twisted his ankle Saturday while stepping on Pittsburgh RHP Chris Archer's foot, was available to play Sunday.


Archer dropped his appeal and began serving a five-game suspension for setting off a benches-clearing altercation on April 7. Archer threw a fastball behind Cincinnati's Derek Dietrich, who had stood and watched a long home run in his previous at-bat. Archer, who pitched seven innings Saturday against Washington, will make his next start April 21 at home against San Francisco.


Pirates: Pittsburgh has Monday off. It begins a two-game series at Detroit on Tuesday as RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0, 0.00 ERA) starts against the Tigers for the first time.

Nationals: After an off day Monday, RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 5.40) starts Tuesday as Washington begins a three-game series at home against San Francisco.


More AP MLB: and

Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express
written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

· Williams: Weekend Watch
· Akins: Diamond Trends - Sunday
· Lawrence: July Pitchers Report
· Beaty helps L.A. recover, top Miami 10-6
· Fletcher, Trout lead Angels past M's 6-2
· Davis lifts A's over Twins in 9th inning
· Guerrero hits 1st slam, Jays stop Tigers
· White Sox win in 11, Rays lose 5th in row
· Baez leads streaking Cubs over Padres
Why Buy Picks From
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
2-0 Y'day, 10-4 +663 L14, +2,736
3-0, +422 Record L3 Days
3-0, +332 Yesterday, +2,145 TY
2-0 +271 Y'day, 7-3 +547 L3 Days
6-2 L8, 26-12 +1,444 Run, +2,491
3-0 +335 Friday, +3,816 This Year
4-2 +321 Picks, 11-4 +818 G-Plays
9-2 L6 Days, 12-6 Guarantees
5-1 L6, 25-10 L35 Guarantees
4-2 +285 L2 Days, +2,220 This Year
6-2, +437 L8 Win Streak
14-7 Picks, 6-1 L7, +2,555 Totals TY
4-2 L3 Days, 24-10 L34 G-Plays
7-1 L8, 12-4 L16 Over/Unders
4-2 L3 Days, 21-6 +1,477 G-Plays
MLB Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 3816
Alex Smart + 2736
Vince Akins + 2491
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 728
Marc Lawrence + 676
Alex Smart + 453
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Ben Burns + 2555
Scott Rickenbach + 2503
Brian Bitler + 635
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 3118
Kevin Rogers + 2121
Ben Burns + 1401
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 1812
Bruce Marshall + 1212
Jim Feist + 956
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 2359
Antony Dinero + 1563
Micah Roberts + 1490
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership