WASHINGTON (AP) Ian Desmond led off the seventh inning with a home run – the only run of the game scored on a hit – and the Washington Nationals and their makeshift lineup avoided a sweep Sunday with a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Desmond ripped a down-the-middle fastball from Alex Wood (1-1) well into the left field bleachers, the Nationals’ first hit since the first inning. But it was enough to win on a day when four Washington pitchers combined to allow eight hits.
Taylor Jordan allowed one run over 6 2-3 innings, working out of several jams along the way, and Jerry Blevins (1-0) retired two batters in the seventh to get the win. Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his first save.
PIRATES 2, CARDINALS 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Tony Sanchez hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh inning and Pittsburgh edged St. Louis.
Sanchez’s double to deep center field with two outs came off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (1-1) and snapped a 1-1 tie.
The hit by the rookie reserve catcher scored Pedro Alvarez, who led off the inning with a walk, and was Sanchez’s second game-winning hit of the week as he singled home the winning run in the 16th inning of Wednesday night’s victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Tony Watson (1-0) retired all four batters he faced, striking out three, and ran his string of consecutive scoreless innings to 24, dating to last season. Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless ninth to convert his first save.
St. Louis managed just three hits.
PADRES 4, MARLINS 2
MIAMI (AP) – Pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista celebrated his 25th birthday by delivering a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning to lift San Diego.
Ian Kennedy (1-1) allowed one run and three hits in six innings for the Padres. He struck out five.
Four relievers then helped the Padres end a four-game losing streak, including two against the Marlins to begin the series. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his second save.
Amarista’s home run came off Nathan Eovaldi (1-1), who held the Padres scoreless through six. Eovaldi struck out eight and allowed six hits.
The Marlins completed their opening homestand with a 5-2 record.
REDS 2, METS 1
NEW YORK (AP) – Alfredo Simon pitched seven impressive innings in his first start in more than two years and began the go-ahead rally with his second career hit, helping Cincinnati salvage a win in the three-game series.
Joey Votto had a sacrifice fly and Ryan Ludwick a tiebreaking single off Jonathon Niese (0-1), who was making his first start of the season after a being slowed by shoulder and elbow injuries this spring.
Simon (1-0) made 99 relief appearances for the Reds since his previous start, on Sept. 28, 2011, for Baltimore, but manager Bryan Price tapped the right-hander because Mat Latos is rehabbing from knee and elbow operations.
Manny Parra retired all six batters he faced for his first career save.
DIAMONDBACKS 5, ROCKIES 3
DENVER (AP) – Mark Trumbo homered for the fourth straight game as Arizona averted a sweep.
Wade Miley pitched eight strong innings to extend his mastery over the Rockies. He also had a career-best three hits, including an RBI single and benefited from a defense that turned five double plays as the Diamondbacks won for just the second time in nine games this season.
Miley improved to 7-0 with a 2.52 ERA in 10 career games (nine starts) against the Rockies, matching the longest winning streak against Colorado to start a career.
The winning pitcher in Arizona’s only other victory this season, Miley (2-1) allowed two runs and seven hits.
Addison Reed gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Gonzalez in the ninth and Gonzalez stole second and went to third on catcher Miguel Montero’s throwing error. Troy Tulowitzki walked to put runners on the corners.
CUBS 8, PHILLIES 3
CHICAGO (AP) – Ryan Kalish hit a two-run double and an RBI triple and Chicago avoided a sweep.
Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva (1-2) allowed a run in five innings in his first start and third outing of the season.
A.J. Burnett (0-1), who signed a one-year, $16 million contract with the Phillies after he spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowed eight runs, four earned, in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out three but walked six.
The Cubs scored four runs in the first and sixth innings.
Kalish opened up the scoring with an RBI triple in the first. It was his first hit since Sept. 11, 2012, when he played for the Boston Red Sox.
DODGERS 6, GIANTS 2
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Matt Kemp hit his first two home runs at Dodger Stadium since late in 2012 and Hanley Ramirez slugged his first two homers this season, helping Los Angeles avoid a three-game sweep.
Zack Greinke (2-0) pitched six innings, allowing two runs and six hits – including Brandon Belt’s fourth homer leading off the sixth, and the first of the season by Hunter Pence three batters later. The right-hander struck out eight and walked none.
Matt Cain (0-1) gave up five runs and six hits in six innings with three strikeouts and no walks. It was the eighth time the right-hander has surrendered three or more homers in a game during his 10-year career, and the first time since May 16, 2013 at Colorado in an 8-6 win.