Nationals 6, Pirates 3

Clint Hurdle refused to criticize the decision made by his third
base coach and star centerfielder.

That choice ended the game for the Pirates in defeat, but
attempting to score from third on a fly to right is exactly how the
first-year manager wants his team to play.

”We want to be aggressive; we want to be smart,” Hurdle said
after Jayson Werth threw out Andrew McCutchen at the plate to end
Pittsburgh’s 6-3 loss to Washington on Sunday.

”You never want to make the last out at home, but sometimes
those things are going to happen. It’s not a perfect world, it’s
not a perfect game, but our mentality is to play aggressive.”

After the play, which was started by a ball hit by Jose Tabata,
McCutchen threw his helmet to the ground in disgust and Hurdle
argued with umpire Kerwin Danley.

McCutchen had calmed down by the time he spoke in the clubhouse
after the game. He didn’t say whether third base coach Nick Leyva
sent him.

”Oh well, nothing you can do about it now. The game’s over,”
he said. ”That’s about it.

”It doesn’t matter what I thought; it doesn’t matter if I was
safe, the game’s over now,” he said.

Mike Morse had a three-run homer among his three-hits, Adam
LaRoche also homered and the Nationals had a season-high 15 hits in
handing the Pirates their fourth loss in five games.

Eleven of those hits came during starter Kevin Correia’s 4 2-3
innings.

”I was kind of doing what I wanted to, I felt pretty good out
there; it was just one of those that got away kind of at the wrong
time,” Correia (3-2) said. ”One bad pitch, and in my two starts I
haven’t won, that’s kind of what happened.”

Morse’s drive was his first of the season and came during the
Nationals’ four-run third inning that helped Jason Marquis win his
second consecutive start and his fifth straight decision against
Pittsburgh since 2008.

Danny Espinosa had three hits with a run and Marquis (2-0) also
had two hits to raise his season average to .400 for
Washington.

Neil Walker had three hits and an RBI for the Pirates.

Drew Storen earned his third save – all coming in his last three
appearances.

Morse took a 2-2 pitch from Correia to left with Rick Ankiel and
Werth aboard in the third.

”Absolutely, I’ve kept my confidence,” Morse said. ”That’s
one thing I won’t lose is confidence in myself.

”I saw a pitch and I hit it. It was a fastball and I got a good
part of the barrel and it went out.”

The two-out clout came after it appeared as if Correia would
escape a bases loaded, nobody out jam by allowing only one run on a
grounder.

”I thought I pitched pretty well, and I got myself into a
position I shouldn’t have got into and I just couldn’t get out of
it,” Correia said. ”A couple bad pitches at the right time.”

LaRoche, a former Pirates player, led off the fifth with his
third homer, to right, to make it 5-3.

Correia failed in his first attempt at becoming the first
Pirates pitcher to win four games in April since Jeff Suppan in
2003. He fell to 0-2 at home by allowing five runs.

Marquis continued the Nationals’ season-long streak of their
starters going at least five innings by allowing three runs on
eight hits and two walks in six innings. Marquis, who had two
strikeouts, has more wins against the Pirates (12) than any other
team. He has won nine of his past 11 decisions against
Pittsburgh.

”I felt like I was getting better as the game went on,”
Marquis said. ”Felt like my stuff was getting better, felt like I
was getting stronger.”

Pittsburgh has scored more runs in the first than any other
inning this season. After scoring five in a 7-2 win over Washington
on Saturday, Walker gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead Sunday with a
one-out single that drove in McCutchen.

Pittsburgh scored twice in the fourth on Chris Snyder’s
sacrifice fly and Ronny Cedeno’s RBI double.

”We had a pretty good inning. … We felt like we were in the
game the whole time today but we weren’t just able to get those few
extra runs,” McCutchen said. ”We got the short end of the stick
today.

”I’m ready to start going on a win streak,” he added. ”I’m
tried of winning one, losing one; we gotta go on a wining streak
here in a minute. It’ll come though.”

NOTES: The Nationals activated RHP Todd Coffey (strained left
calf) from the 15-day DL. … Two days after a postponement and a
day after the start of the game was delayed by 1 hour, 11 minutes,
neither team was able to take batting practice Sunday because of
morning rain. Although it was dry at first pitch, a light rain
began to fall during the third inning and lasted throughout much of
the remainder of the game. … Washington’s Jerry Hairston and Ivan
Rodriguez each had two hits. … The first Easter game in
Pittsburgh since 2006 drew only 9,520.