Miguel Andujar had three RBIs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-3 victory over the Washington Nationals in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Rich Hill started for Pittsburgh, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings on the mound. He improved to 3-2 on the season, lowering his ERA to 4.18. David Bednar tallied his ninth save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
The Pirates took the early lead in the first inning. A single by Andujar to left field scored Connor Joe to make it 1-0. Joe hit a solo homerun, his fourth of the season, in the top of fourth to put the Bucs in front 2-0.
After escaping a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the third inning, Hill gave up a pair of runs in the fourth inning. After putting runners on second and third with no outs, the Nationals cashed in. A double by Riley Adams scored two runs and tied the game.
Andujar’s solid day at the plate continued in the top of the sixth inning, as he hammered a two run homerun to left center field, scoring Andrew McCutchen to give the Bucs a 4-2 lead.
Washington responded in the bottom half of the inning. Luis Garcia led off with at ripple, and scored on a groundout by Lane Thomas, cutting the Pirates’ lead to one run at 4-3.
Pittsburgh added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth to distance themselves a bit. A bases-loaded walk to Austin Hedges and a sacrifice fly by Bryan Reynolds scored a run each, making it 6-3, which would be the final.
This was a great start to the road trip for the Pirates. They have now put themselves in position to possibly sweep the doubleheader and win the weekend series. Vince Velasquez will take the mound for Pittsburgh in Saturday’s second game against Chad Kuhl for Washington.
Record vs. Nationals: 1-0
Record vs. N.L. East: 1-0
Record on the Road: 10-4
Overall Record: 19-8
Let’s Go Bucs!