Nats Salvage Series on Desmond Homer

Washington — 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 — 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.

Padres 4, Marlins 2

Miami — 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.

Reds 2, Mets 1

New York — 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.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3

Denver — 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.

Cubs 8, Phillies 3

Chicago — 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.