The Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense erupted for 14 hits as they beat the Washington Nationals in the series opener on Thursday night at PNC Park by a 9-4 score.
J.T. Brubaker made his second start of the season on Thursday, and similarly to his performance on Opening Day, he struggled early and often. He ended up lasting 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts. He certainly outpitched his mound opponent, Joan Adon, though, who was tagged for six runs on nine hits and three walks in 4.2 innings.
The Nationals jumped out to an early lead on singles by Keibert Ruiz and Yadiel Hernandez, making it a 3-0 score before the Bucs even came to bat. A solo homerun by Daniel Vogelbach in the bottom of the inning got the Pirates on the board at 3-1.
A two run homerun by Bryan Reynolds in the bottom of the third inning tied the game, and a two run double by Kevin Newman later in the frame gave the Bucs a 5-3 advantage.
After Washington added a run in the top of the fifth, the Pirates got the run right back in the bottom half on a RBI single by Roberto Perez, making it 6-4. A sacrifice fly by Yoshi Tsutsugo in the sixth and a run-scoring single by Vogelbach in the seventh increased the Bucs’ lead to 8-4.
This was a nice victory to kick off this series against the Nationals. The Pirates have now won two straight games, and by winning the first game of this series, they put themselves in a great position to split or potentially win this series.
The Nats and Bucs will meet back up at PNC Park on Friday night for the second game of this series. Erick Fedde will take the mound for Washington against Mitch Keller for Pittsburgh.
Record vs. Nationals: 1-0
Record vs. N.L. East: 1-0
Record at Home: 2-1
Overall Record: 3-3
Let’s Go Bucs!