PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Ryan Doumit would prefer to just "ride the wave" and not think about it. But if he keeps hitting as he has the past three days, he'll soon be the talk of the National League.
Doumit finished an outstanding series against Washington, hitting another home run in the Pirates' 7-5 win over the Nationals on Thursday.In the three-game series, the Pirates catcher went 9-for-11 with four home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs to help the Pirates win two of three."I don't want to talk about it. I'm trying not to analyze it," Doumit said. "I just want to ride the wave right now."Things are going well right now, and I don't want to put too much thought into it. I have no complaints right now. I like the way our team is playing. I love the way our pitching staff is performing. Right now we are on a little bit of a roll."Doumit, who did not speak with the media following each of his previous two big games this week, had been 1-for-12 in three previous games after returning from a stint on the disabled list.For the season, he is batting .365 with nine home runs and 22 RBIs in 126 at-bats."I don't think I've ever been as hot as he is right now," Washington's Lastings Milledge said. "It's kind of like unbelievable. He's hitting stuff like two feet off the ground, you can't really do anything about that. Pretty much anything you throw he's going to hit; there's no significant plan for that."Nate McLouth, Doug Mientkiewicz and Chris Gomez also each had two hits, and Tom Gorzelanny won for the first time in four starts for the Pirates (33-34), who moved within a game of .500 for the first time since May 17.Cristian Guzman went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Elijah Dukes 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Washington, which has lost 10 of 12.Doumit launched his ninth homer into the elevated seats in right off Jason Bergmann (1-4) in the first inning, with Freddy Sanchez aboard. Doumit added an RBI single in the fifth."Obviously he's been a big lift for us the last few days," Pirates manager John Russell said. "It was very nice to see. He's a big part of our team.""He can hit," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "He can swing from both sides of the plate; he's got power from both sides of the plate. ... We caught him at the wrong time."The Nationals fought back from a 6-1 deficit to pull within one against a Pirates bullpen that was without closer Matt Capps, whom manager John Russell wanted to rest after using the previous four days.Damaso Marte worked the ninth for his first save since Aug. 27, 2005, when he was with the Chicago White Sox. It was his first National League save."There was so second thought whatsoever about bringing him in," Russell said of Marte, who has 33 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings this season. "He's been throwing the ball well all year, and he's got the stuff to get out both right-handed and left-handed bats."Gorzelanny (5-5) allowed three runs and six hits with three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six."It was a pretty good outing," Gorzelanny said. "I didn't feel great today; it was definitely a 'battle day.' It wasn't what I wanted to feel like but I got results and made some good pitches and toughed it out."Dukes tripled in Guzman in the third, and the Nationals made a game of it with a three-run sixth. Guzman's two-out single off of Sean Burnett scored Wily Mo Pena and Wil Nieves, and Dukes followed with a single that scored Dmitri Young.The Pirates scored two in the second when Gorzelanny drew a bases-loaded walk to score Mientkiewicz, and McLouth's sacrifice fly drove in Gomez. Jason Bay added a sacrifice fly in the fifth.Guzman singled in Ryan Langerhans in the eighth to pull Washington to 6-5, but the Pirates got that run back on Jason Michaels' pinch-hit double in the bottom of the inning.The Nationals fell to 1-7 when Bergmann pitches. He was charged with six runs -- four earned -- and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Washington first baseman Aaron Boone left the game during the sixth inning with a strained neck on the right side. ... Pirates OF Xavier Nady had an outfield assist and leads the majors with nine. ... The Pirates improved to 8-2 in day games at home this season. ... Pittsburgh has lost only three of 12 series played at PNC Park this season.