Pinch hitter Matt Stairs hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the Washington Nationals broke a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night and gave Davey Johnson his first win since taking over the managerial reins.
Michael Morse opened the bottom of the ninth by singling up the middle off the first pitch thrown by Tim Wood (0-3), the sixth pitcher used by the Pirates on the night. Morse moved to second on a wild pitch on the first offering to Danny Espinosa, who was intentionally walked to play for a force. Alex Cora pinch ran for Morse and Wilson Ramos' flyout to right advanced Cora to third. Stairs, batting for Ian Desmond, ripped an RBI single off the wall in right.
Drew Storen (5-2) worked a perfect ninth for the victory.
Pittsburgh took advantage of some sloppy fielding to take a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the third. After a leadoff infield single by Michael McKenry, pitcher Charlie Morton popped up a bunt attempt. Pitcher Tom Gorzelanny dove to try and grab the pop, but muffed it and knocked it into foul territory, leaving Morton at first and McKenry at third. McKenry scored when the next batter, Alex Presley, grounded out to first.
Roger Bernadina's fifth homer of the season, a leadoff shot off Morton that wound up in the second row of the seats in right-center, tied the game in the sixth.
Both starting pitchers got no-decisions. Morton worked 5 2/3 innings of three-hit ball. He walked one and struck out two. Gorzelanny was pulled after yielding an unearned run on six hits over seven innings, walking one and fanning eight.