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Pirates Take Down Nationals, Improve To 5-0

The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their season opening road trip on Monday when they traveled to our nation’s capital to play a three-game series against the Washington Nationals.  Pittsburgh started the year off hot in Miami, and would keep playing winning baseball in this series opener by defeating Washington 8-4.

The Pirates struck first with two runs in the second inning.  Michael A. Taylor brought home Henry Davis with a sac fly and later in the inning Oneil Cruz scored on a Bryan Reynolds ground out.  The Nationals cut that lead to one in the third when Lane Thomas singled home Victor RoblesConnor Joe came through with an RBI single to shallow center in the sixth.

Washington tied the game in the seventh on a two-run home run from Riley Adams.  Pittsburgh stormed back to retake the lead with a three run eighth.  Joe would double home Taylor and then come around to score when Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled to center.  Hayes would score for the final run of the inning on an Andrew McCutchen single to left center.

The Pirates added two insurance runs in the ninth when Reynolds drove in Alika Williams and Taylor on a double to right center.  The Nationals got one more run in the ninth on a CJ Abrams single to left center, but it would be too little too late.

Marco Gonzales pitched five innings for Pittsburgh allowing one run on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.  He was replaced by Roansy Contreras, who would collect the win after pitching two innings.  During that time Contreras would allow two runs on two hits with three strikeouts and a walk.  Ryder Ryan worked 1.2 innings striking out three, walking one, and allowing one run on two hits.  Aroldis Chapman earned the save after getting out the only batter he would face in the ninth.

Mackenzie Gore started for Washington allowing three runs on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks.  The Nationals bullpen would use four pitchers to cover the remaining 3.2 innings.  Combined they would allow five runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

This was another game where a team effort was needed to grab the win.  The offense struck at the right times and the pitching locked down when needed, even with the occasional slip up.  The win also marks the first time since 1983 that the Pirates have started a season 5-0.  After an off day on Tuesday this series will resume Wednesday evening at 6:45pm.  Mitch Keller will make his second start of the season going up against former Bucco Trevor Williams.

Record vs. Nationals:  1-0

Record vs. N.L East:  5-0

Record on the Road:  5-0

Overall Record:  5-0

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.