MLB

Nats acquire Pirates closer Melancon

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The Washington Nationals found their reliable new man for the ninth inning, acquiring All-Star closer Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Washington sent reliever Felipe Rivero and pitching prospect Taylor Hearn to the Pirates for Melancon, who supplants struggling Jonathan Papelbon as Washington's closer. Melancon is expected to join the Nationals on Sunday for the series finale at San Francisco.

Melancon, a 31-year-old right-hander, has 30 saves and a 1.51 ERA this season and joins his fifth organization in eight years. He is making $9.65 million and is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

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