Harper injured after fake tag, benches clear, Nats top Bucs

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen, right, scores from third on a throw down to second by Washington Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton in the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/AP

PITTSBURGH (AP) Nationals star Bryce Harper injured himself making an awkward slide to avoid a pretend tag by Pittsburgh third baseman Jung Ho Kang, and the teams later cleared the benches Sunday in Washington's 10-7 win.

There was no immediate word on the severity of Harper's injury.

The reigning MVP led off the third inning with a triple into the right field corner for the NL East champions. As Harper neared third, Kang acted as if a throw was coming and faked a tag.

Harper went down, was checked by a trainer and stayed in the game. He scored on Anthony Rendon's double and was replaced in the field for the bottom of the third by Chris Heisey.

The next time Kang came up, Nationals starter A.J. Cole threw a fastball behind him and was immediately ejected by plate umpire Jordan Baker.

The benches cleared, with Washington's Jayson Werth in the middle of the skirmish. Pirates outfielder Sean Rodriguez was ejected.

Werth had a pinch-hit, two-run homer and Heisey had a go-ahead single during a five-run burst in the eighth. The Nationals' rally came against former teammate Felipe Rivero (1-5).

Rivero had allowed just four earned runs in his previous 25 innings since being traded from Washington to the Pirates.

Kang hit a two-run homer off Koda Glover to give the Pirates the lead in the seventh.

Glover (3-0) wound up with the win. Former Pirates closer Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 43rd save.


Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli did not play after taking a foul ball off his wrist Saturday. … RHP Neftali Feliz (arm) threw off flat ground but is not yet ready for a return to the mound.


Nationals: Tanner Roark (15-9 2.70 ERA) had his start pushed back one day after the Nationals clinched the NL East on Saturday night. He'll looking for his career-best 16th win as Washington hosts Arizona for a four-game series.

Pirates: Chad Kuhl (5-3, 3.73 ERA) will start as Pittsburgh begins a four-game series against the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs. Kuhl has allowed seven earned runs in 7 1/3 innings in his two previous starts against Chicago this season.