PITTSBURGH (AP) Gregory Polanco homered and drove in three runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates exacted some measure of revenge against Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals in a 7-5 win on Friday night.
Just over a month after Scherzer no-hit the Pirates, Pittsburgh touched Washington's ace for five runs in five innings before putting it away against reliever Sammy Solis (1-1). Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez also homered off Scherzer, the most home runs Scherzer has given up in a game in nearly four years.
Vance Worley (4-5) picked up the win in relief. Mark Melancon worked around two hits in the ninth for his major-league leading 31st save.
Tyler Moore drove in two for the Nationals and Ian Desmond homered for the second straight night, but Washington couldn't rally on a rare off night by Scherzer.
Scherzer overwhelmed Pittsburgh while tossing the first no-hitter of his career in a 6-0 victory on June 20. Only a wayward breaking ball that grazed pinch hitter Jose Tabata on the elbow with two outs in the ninth stood between Scherzer and a perfect game.
Things were decidedly bumpier this time around.
Kang singled with one out in the second for Pittsburgh's first hit and Alvarez followed two pitches later with a home run that hit a concrete path outside the stadium 460 feet from home plate. The ball landed in the Allegheny River on the bounce, the first runs Pittsburgh managed against Scherzer in 20 innings.
And not the last.
Washington bounced back against Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke in the fourth behind Tyler Moore's two-run double to take a 4-2 lead but Pittsburgh responded. Pinch-hitter Jaff Decker worked a walk - just the second issued by Scherzer in his last seven starts - and Polanco put together a brilliant at bat that showcased why the Pirates are so high on the talented but still developing 23-year-old.
Polanco fell behind 0-2, worked the count full then fouled off six straight Scherzer offerings before sending the 12th pitch of the at bat into the seats in right to put Pittsburgh in front 5-4. Polanco was barely back in the dugout when Walker hit a homer to nearly the exact same spot. The three home runs given up by Scherzer were the most since Oakland hit three off of him on Sept. 15, 2011, when he was pitching for Detroit.
Desmond's 10th homer of the season tied it in the top of the sixth but pinch hitter Brent Morel doubled home Francisco Cervelli and Polanco laced a sharp single up the middle off Solis in the bottom of the inning as the Pirates won their second straight following a 1-5 slump out of the All-Star break.
Nationals: Washington scratched 1B Clint Robinson from the starting lineup shortly before game time due to an illness but Robinson entered the game in the sixth during a double switch. ... OF Jayson Werth and INF Anthony Rendon could return to the team next week against Miami following lengthy stays on the disabled list. Manager Matt Williams said it was ''reasonable'' Werth's left wrist and Rendon's strained left quad may be ready to go by the middle of next week barring any late setbacks.
Pirates: Pittsburgh 1B Corey Hart's road back from knee issues and a shoulder impingement will be a long one. Manager Clint Hurdle said Friday that Hart, currently on the 60-day DL, will spend some time at home and have a lengthy rehab assignment next month before any decision is made on his availability during the stretch run.
The series continues on Saturday when Washington's Gio Gonzalez (7-4, 3.93 ERA) faces A.J. Burnett. The Nationals are 6-0 in the last six games Gonzalez has started against the Pirates. Burnett (8-3, 2.44), an All-Star this season for the first time in his 17-year career, is 12-6 with a 3.23 ERA in 24 career appearances against Washington. Pittsburgh expects recently acquired 3B Aramis Ramirez to be available