Nationals Score Early, Add On Late, Defeat Pirates 7-1

Washington scored two in the first, four in the 8th and one in the 9th

Matt Harkins
August 22, 2019 - 11:54 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - The Washington Nationals score early and add on late as they defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday night at PNC Park 7-1 to take three of four games in the series.

After two of the first three batters of the game scored Thursday night for the Nationals, Pirates Starting Pitcher Steven Brault shutdown Washington for the next five innings, including retiring the last seven batters he faced.

"Diaz and I realized that these guys obviously look at scouting reports and what's happened before, they were swinging at fastballs early and I was throwing it over the plate so they were able to hit it," said Brault. "So made an adjustment quickly, going to more off-speed pitches and we were able to, first inning mitigate as well as we could and then the second inning keep the zero, took a lot of pitches, but I was committed to getting the zero there. You don't want to walk a lefty as a lefty to get to Rendon, that was not the plan, but it worked out. It's just about the eb and flow of the game and that's why I love starting so much, it's why I've always loved starting is being able to, you have to be able to, make adjustments throughout a game. I was fastball heavy at first, then we changed to more off speed and then as the game went on we were able to start throwing the fastball again."

The final line on Brault was 6 innings pitched as he gave up 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and struck out 4 on 98 pitches (63 strikes).

Second Baseman Adam Frazier got the Pirates on the board with a solo home run in the 3rd inning to cut the deficit to one, but that would be the only run the Pirates would bring across in this game. As the Nationals would add four more runs in the 8th and one more run in the 9th off of Chris Stratton, including two home runs from Howie Kendrick and Anthony Rendon.

"I just didn't have it today, to be honest with you," said Stratton. "I don't think my fastball command was very good, especially to some of their big righties and it showed. I put us in a bad position there and I end up having to wear it there, so it sucks."

Pirates Pitchers have been victims of the home run ball so far this season as they have given up 100 home runs at home and have only hit 59 themselves at PNC Park.

"Well the balls playing diffrent this year, however, at the same time our home run total here at home I think it's in the mid-50's somewhere, I think we went over 100 tonight I think giving them up, which is more home runs than we've given up in any other year, we still have 18 home games to play," said Manager Clint Hurdle. "So, it's a combination of having pitches better located, the league in general's hitting more home runs, we haven't and we are definitely paying the price for missed execution off the mound."

The Pirates will open a 3-game series against Cincinnati Friday night at PNC Park when they send Mitch Keller (1-2, 8.86 ERA) to the mound against Anthony DeSclafani (8-7, 4.40 ERA) and the Reds at 7:05 pm.

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