- Associated Press - Sunday, April 6, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 (AP) - 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.

Tony Watson (1-0) retired all four batters he faced, striking out three, and ran his string of consecutive scoreless innings to 24, dating to last season. Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless ninth to convert his first save.

St. Louis managed just three hits.

PADRES 4, MARLINS 2

MIAMI (AP) - 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.

Amarista’s home run came off Nathan Eovaldi (1-1), who held the Padres scoreless through six. Eovaldi struck out eight and allowed six hits.

The Marlins completed their opening homestand with a 5-2 record.

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