Marte's 3-Run Home Run Lifts Pirates Over Nationals 4-1

Pirates score 4 in the 8th off the Nationals bullpen

Matt Harkins
August 20, 2019 - 11:59 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Pittsburgh Pirates Center Fielder Starling Marte put the Pirates in front with a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning and made the catch for the final out up against the wall in the top of the 9th to close out the 4-1 victory over the Washington Nationals Tuesday night at PNC Park.

The Pirates have struggled in recent games to score some runs and it looked like it was going to be another one of those nights as the 8th inning started, but the Nationals removed Stephen Strasburg after 7 shutout innings (94 pitches) and turned it over to the bullpen.

Wander Suero allowed a lead-off single to Jacob Stallings, walked Melky Cabrera and Adam Frazier reached on a bunt to load the bases with no one out in the bottom of the 8th. Nationals Manager Dave Martinez brought in Daniel Hudson to try and get out of it, but Bryan Reynolds brought home Steven Brault, who pinch ran for Stallings, on a sacrifice fly and that is what brought Marte to the plate and he promptly put one in the right center field seats.

Marte has been arguably having one of his better, if not best, season's this year and has been one of the Pirates most consistent players when it comes to production since the All Star Break.

"I've been doing a good job, everybody push me to continue to do what I do," said Marte. "Since they moved me to 3rd in the order, I've been better. I think J.B behind me, their pitcher don't want to see him, so they try to face me."

After Chris Archer was removed from the game with Right Shoulder Discomfort before the 2nd inning, Clay Holmes was brought in and pitched 3.2 innings and only gave up 1 hit, 1 run, 4 walks and struck out 3 on 64 pitches (33 strikes).

"It was the first time for me, got in that situation," said Holmes. "Definitely had some adrenaline flowing and going in you know they need some innings out of you, but you're just taking it one pitch at a time, put some at-bats together, got some outs and looked up and almost got through four."

Closer Felipe Vazquez has not been used a lot post All Star Break, but he came in Tuesday night in the 8th inning to keep the deficit at one and finished off the game in the 9th to close out the victory.

"Clint already knows I'm there for any time he needs me," said Vazquez.

With everything that the Pirates have been through since the All-Star Break, Manager Clint Hurdle called this one of the more important team wins of the season for the team.

"When you look at what went on tonight, this is one of the best team victories we've had all year," said Hurdle. "It's unfortunate that you can't be in the dugout every night cause you'd have no idea, the vibe doesn't match the record, the effort and the energy don't match the record. We know that, you don't win games on vibe, you don't win games on effort, you win games with results. We got the right results tonight, however, that team's got no quit in them, they're going to fight, they're go to play. There's a code of honor that you play when you get the season where we are right now, there's a code of honor you represent. They still represent the name on the front of the jersey, they still represent Pittsburgh and they represent the name on the back and that's what they are doing."

The Pirates and Nationals will play game three of this four game series Wednesday night as Pittsburgh sends Joe Musgrove (8-11, 4.59 ERA) to the mound against Washington and Patrick Corbin (9-5. 3.34 ERA) at 7:05 pm at PNC Park.

Listen to what Pirates Relief Pitcher Richard Rodriguez (Thru Translator) had to say after his outing postgame below:

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