Washington Nationals' outfielder Jayson Werth wasn't available to start Sunday afternoon's series finale with the Pittsburgh PIrates, but the 35-year-old outfielder ended up playing an important role in the Nats' 6-5 win.
Werth entered the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth after Nationals' closer Rafael Soriano blew a save opportunity in the top of the inning. After drawing a one-out walk, Werth took third on a Denard Span line drive to right and scored on a single through the right side by Asdrubal Cabrera.
The run scored tied the game up at 5-5, then Werth doubled on a line drive to left to start the eleventh. A groundout by Span moved him to third and he tagged and scored on Scott Hairston's walk-off sac fly.
1 for 1 with two runs scored? Not bad for two-plus innings of work.
Nats' skipper Matt Williams talked after the extra innings win about the decision to bring Werth into Sunday's game after he'd missed several games while dealing with inflammation in the AC joint in his right shoulder.
"He was getting loose the whole game," Williams said, "so we kept monitoring him. With a two-run lead we're not going to use him if we don't have to, but we had to and it paid dividends again."
Werth received a cortisone shot last week that the Nationals hoped would allow him to return to the lineup.
Though his appearance late in the game on Sunday was the only action he saw this weekend, Werth is apparently recovered enough to play today.
The Nationals' starting right fielder is back in the lineup for the series opener with the Arizona Diamondbacks:
Werth hasn't started again since last Sunday when he faced the Braves in Atlanta, going 0 for 1 with three walks in the series finale in Turner Field. In 10 games in August, the Nats' outfielder, who was named the NL Player of the Month for July, is 8 for 29 (.276/.389/.379) with three doubles, six walks and six Ks.
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