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Nationals again walk off against Pirates

Greg Fiume

The Nationals walked off against the Pirates for the second straight day on Sunday, winning 6-5 in the 11th as Brandon Cumpton allowed a sacrifice fly to Scott Hairston.

This one started as a pitchers' duel between Edinson Volquez and Doug Fister -- through five innings, the game was in a scoreless tie, with Volquez racking up grounders and strikeouts. In the sixth, the Pirates scored two runs thanks to some sloppy defense, and the Nats got one run back in the bottom of the inning.

In the seventh, it was the Pirates' defense's turn to get sloppy. Volquez loaded the bases with one out, then gave way to Jared Hughes. Hughes got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground to first, but Ike Davis botched the throw home and two runs scored. Then Anthony Rendon reached on a fielder's choice and Pedro Alvarez was charged with yet another throwing error as the Nationals went up 4-2.

Starling Marte scored in the ninth on a wild pitch to cut the lead to one, and then Gregory Polanco gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead when he knocked in two runners with a double off the wall in right center.

Mark Melancon entered to pitch the ninth and, naturally, struggled -- not that Melancon is typically prone to struggling, but that's just how things are going for the Pirates right now. He walked Jayson Werth, gave up a single to Denard Span, and then allowed a run when Cabrera hit a ground ball single. That tied the game, and Melancon needed a diving catch from Marte to prevent the Nationals from winning it right there.

Cumpton entered to pitch the tenth. In the 11th, Werth led off with a double and moved up on a grounder. Then Hairston lofted his sacrifice fly to end it. The Pirates sank to just four games above .500 with the loss.