Nationals recover for 18th win in 23 games

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pirates could not wait to see Jose Guillen
leave Pittsburgh in 2000. Five years later, they feel much the same

Brian Schneider's softly hit go-ahead single in the eighth
inning traveled barely 150 feet in a game featuring mostly long
home runs, two by Guillen, and the Washington Nationals came back
after squandering an early lead to beat the Pirates 5-4 Wednesday.

Guillen's second two-homer game in three days came as the teams
combined for five homers in the first three innings, helping
Pittsburgh take a 4-2 lead Josh Fogg couldn't hold.

Guillen, a former Pirates player cast off to Tampa Bay in a
seemingly minor deal in 2000, went 8-for-14 with four homers, a
double and six RBI as Washington took two of three in the series.
He has four multihomer games this season and eight in his career.

Despite driving in 84 runs during a promising rookie season in
1997, Guillen was dealt after the Pirates wearied of his frequent
bouts with immaturity and a sometimes casual approach to
conditioning. Still, Pittsburgh remains one of Guillen's favorite
stops in the majors.

"I like to come here and play -- it's always going to be a place
where I like to come," Guillen said. "And I got some good pitches
to hit."

As far as Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon is concerned, far too

"Knowing the young man as we do, knowing his strengths and
weaknesses, it's really shameful we let him go out and dominate us
... we should be ashamed," McClendon said.

There was plenty of blame to go around in the Pirates' eighth
loss in 10 games, especially after a botched pickoff of Guillen
allowed Washington to tie it at 4 in the fifth.

Jamey Carroll was hit by Fogg's pitch and moved to third on
Guillen's single. Fogg appeared to pick Guillen off first, but
Guillen stayed in a rundown long enough for Carroll to score.

"It's one of those plays you practice 100 times in spring
training," Fogg said. "It was a big run."

When shortstop Jack Wilson flipped the ball to first baseman
Daryle Ward, Carroll gambled and took off.

"We talked about it the other day, that he's a left-handed
first baseman and he's going to have to take the ball, turn, pivot
and set his feet to throw," Carroll said. "I took a chance
because I knew he had to spin and it would be a tough throw for

Hector Carrasco (3-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the
victory. Mike Gonzalez (0-3) took the loss after walking Church and
Junior Spivey with two outs in the eighth, ahead of Schneider's
opposite-field single into short left field.

Humberto Cota nearly tied it with two outs in the ninth, but
left fielder Ryan Church slammed into the wall at the 378-foot mark
to run down Cota's long drive.

"He made a great play," manager Frank Robinson said. "That
won the ballgame right there."

The Nationals won their 18th in 23 games and completed a 5-4
road trip against the Angels, Rangers and Pirates.

Chad Cordero pitched the ninth inning for his 23rd save in 25
opportunities and his 20th in a row. Thirteen of his last 17 saves
have come in one-run games, which the Nationals have dominated with
a 15-5 record.

The comeback was nothing new, either, as 15 of the NL East
leaders' last 19 victories came after they trailed.

Guillen homered and Church hit a run-scoring double in a two-run
first, but the Pirates came back with Jason Bay's two-run homer off
a left-field walkway and Rob Mackowiak's solo drive over the
right-field seats estimated at 460 feet.

Matt Lawton hit his second homer in as many games in the second
to make it 4-2, but Guillen hit his second in as many at-bats -- his
15th of the season -- an inning later.

All the Pirates' homers came off John Patterson, who struggled
early before settling down to finish with 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
The Nationals weren't certain until hours before game time that
Patterson could start because of lower back stiffness.

Patterson gave up seven hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings and
Fogg seven hits and four runs in seven innings.

Game notes
The Pirates have won only once in Fogg's last eight starts,
a span in which he has six no-decisions. ... Pittsburgh loaded the
bases with one out in the seventh against Patterson, but Carrasco
got Tike Redman to ground into a force play at the plate and Bay to
strike out. ... Fogg has allowed 14 homers in 14 starts. ... Bay's
homer was his 13th, but only his second in 23 games. ... The
Pirates had won their last five series at home. ... Guillen has
five homers in seven games after going 17 games without homering.