It was Jackie Robinson Day across baseball, with all players and coaches wearing the number 42 to honor Robinson breaking the Major League color barrier 75 years ago. Also on Friday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates hosted the Washington Nationals at PNC Park in game two of a four game series. After dropping game one on Thursday, Washington scored early and often on their way to a 7-2 victory.
The Nationals tagged Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller for four runs on seven hits over 3.2 innings. Keller would also strike out four and walk three. The scoring started in the first when Nelson Cruz hit an RBI single to right center. Josh Bell then singled to left center to bring in Juan Soto. Cruz would drive in his second run of the game in the second on a single to shallow left.
The Pirates lone two runs of the night came in the bottom half of the second inning when Hoy Park hit a bloop single to shallow left to drive home Yoshi Tsutsugo and Ben Gamel. Those runs were charged to Erick Fedde. Fedde pitched five innings allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Cruz collected his third RBI of the night in the fourth on a groundout to third. Washington added a run in the fifth when Lane Thomas hit a double to left center off of Miguel Yajure. Yajure pitched three innings and allowed three runs during that time on three hits. The other two runs came in the sixth on a Bell single to left center.
Pittsburgh did not see much life from their lineup tonight as they had only five hits total from five different players. Keller continues to disappoint when he takes the hill. He has yet to show consistent quality outings in this his fourth season in the Majors. Anthony Banda, Heath Hembree, and Aaron Fletcher worked 2.1 innings out the pen. Pirates’ catcher Roberto Perez exited the game early after taking a foul ball off the knee. These two teams are back at it Saturday night at 6:35pm.
Record vs. Nationals: 1-1
Record vs. N.L. East: 1-1
Record at Home: 2-2
Overall Record: 3-4
Let’s Go Bucs!