In order for this Pittsburgh Pirates team to be competitive throughout the season, they will need a full service of contributors on all facets of the game. On Saturday night, that is exactly what they got as everyone that took the field made a tough defensive play, had a clutch hit, or made that critical out on the mound as the Bucs beat the Washington Nationals by a 6-4 score at PNC Park.
Bryse Wilson started for Pittsburgh, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks in 4.1 innings. Dillon Peters earned the victory (2-0) after tossing two innings of no-hit baseball.
The Nationals took the early lead again on Saturday when Alcides Escobar doubled home Maikel Franco in the top of the second inning to make it a 1-0 score.
Pittsburgh answered for a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning on a double by Andrew Knapp and a single by Cole Tucker.
After a Juan Soto homerun in the top of the fifth tied the game, the Bucs answered the bell again when Michael Chavis singled home Ke’Bryan Hayes in the bottom of the inning to make it a one-run game.
Scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth appeared to be insurance runs they probably wouldn’t need, but as it turned out, they needed just about every run they scored. A single by Diego Castillo scored a run to make it 4-2. Then, a ground ball by Knapp and a throwing error by Cesar Hernandez resulted in two more runners scoring, giving Pittsburgh a 6-2 lead.
Washington did make things interesting the ninth inning. Josh Bell’s RBI single made it 6-3, and a fielder’s choice ground ball by Keibert Ruiz made it 6-4. But with one runner on and two outs, Franco stepped to the plate flied out to Ben Gamel to end the game in dramatic fashion.
This was a huge victory for this Pirates team. They are playing hard as a team and winning games by everyone playing an important role. Hayes has looked great so far this season and Bryan Reynolds also looks the part of a star, but the Bucs have been off to a stronger start than most would have predicted because of the play of all of the players at all positions.
The Pirates will look for the series victory on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park. Patrick Corbin will take the mound for Washington against Jose Quintana for Pittsburgh.
Record vs. Nationals: 2-1
Record vs. N.L. East: 2-1
Record at Home: 3-2
Overall Record: 4-4
Let’s Go Bucs!