Harper Saves Nationals
Washington — Right in the middle of it all from the very start to the end, Bryce Harper delivered the first game-ending homer of his career, a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth Thursday that lifted Washington to a 9-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates and ended the Nationals’ losing streak at six.
Harper drove a hanging slider over the wall just to the left of straightaway center with two outs off Bryan Morris (4-4), who earlier allowed a single to Kurt Suzuki.
Harper raised his right fist overhead as he rounded first base and was mobbed by a bouncing pack of teammates as he reached home plate.
Ian Krol (1-0) earned the win, despite being part of poor relief in the ninth that allowed the Pirates to erase a four-run deficit.
It was an eventful afternoon that included three errors by Pittsburgh infielders in the first inning and the ejections of both managers.
The Nationals blew leads of 4-0 and 7-3, the latter when closer Rafael Soriano was charged with four runs while getting only one out in the ninth. He walked the first two batters, then gave up Jordy Mercer’s run-scoring double and Russell Martin’s RBI single. Until then, the Pirates were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr, who took over after manager Davey Johnson was tossed in the fifth, then lifted Soriano and turned to rookie Krol. A walk loaded the bases, and Josh Harrison — who homered earlier — tied the game with a two-run single.
But Harper came through with his 14th homer of the season, a day after sitting out because of a bothersome left knee that landed him on the disabled list recently. He made a headfirst diving catch for the day’s first out, then got hit by a pitch in the bottom of the first.
Mets 7, Braves 4
New York — John Buck drove in three runs and Zack Wheeler beat Atlanta for the second time in seven major league starts as the New York Mets split a four-game series.
Daniel Murphy and Marlon Byrd three hits apiece for the Mets. But the news wasn’t all good for New York: Eric Young Jr., a spark in the leadoff spot since arriving last month, was pulled with pain in his right knee.
Wheeler (4-1) squandered a three-run lead by giving up homers to Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman. But the prized rookie allowed only four hits in six innings after throwing 31 pitches in the first.
Kameron Loe (0-1) lost in relief.
Marlins 5, Rockies 3
Denver — Rob Brantly scored on a wild pitch to break up a scoreless game in the eighth inning, Donovan Solano homered in a four-run ninth, and the Miami Marlins waited out a 93-minute rain delay to beat Colorado.
The Rockies, who dropped three of four to the Marlins, lost star Carlos Gonzalez after the third inning when he aggravated a sprain of the middle finger on his right hand. He is day to day.
Reliever Adam Ottavino (0-2) struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth before Brantly singled. Greg Dobbs, batting for reliever Dan Jennings (1-1) singled and Ottavino threw a wild pitch in the dirt.
Padres 10, Brewers 8
Milwaukee — Carlos Quentin and Jesus Guzman homered and the San Diego Padres got 16 hits on their way to beating Milwaukee.
Will Venable added two doubles for San Diego and made a key catch in center field.
Edinson Volquez (8-8) worked into the sixth inning. Huston Street, the Padres’ seventh pitcher, closed for his 18th save in 19 tries.
Cardinals 3, Phillies 1
St. Louis — Lance Lynn allowed one run over seven innings and St. Louis scored three times in the third in a win over Philadelphia.
Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and Matt Adams drove in runs for the Cardinals, who have won seven of nine.
Philadelphia has lost five in a row, tying a season high. The Phillies also dropped five straight from June 7-12.
St. Louis has the most wins in the majors at 62 and is a season-high 25 games over .500.
Lynn (12-5) had dropped four of his previous five decisions and was 3-4 with a 6.32 ERA in his past eight starts.