Pirates Vs. Nationals: Nationals Offer No Pardon To Pirates In 4-2 Win

A rough start to the night for the Nationals ended in victory thanks to starter John Lannan settling down and the offense coming alive just at the right time. The Nationals defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates for their second win in a row.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals Final: Nationals Bash The Bucs 4-2

It was looking to be a stormy night for the Washington Nationals against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but starter John Lannan settled the seas and the Nationals' second baseman delivered a decisive cannon blast to lead the Nationals to a 4-2 victory on Monday night.

Lannan started the night out rough giving up a run in the first-inning to put the Pirates in an early lead and at one point the Bucs had seven hits while the Nationals could only accumulate two. Four walks also caused Lannan some problems, but he was able to get through innings and the outs he needed to limit the damage and end the night with six-innings of seven hit, two run ball under his belt with four strikeouts.

The game was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Danny Espinosa jacked a massive two-run home run deep into the Nationals right field bullpen off Pirates reliever Jose Ascanio for the win. Reliever Drew Storen came in during the ninth to shut the door on the Pirates and earn his ninth save in nine tries. Recently called up reliever Cole Kimball had a blown save, but also earned the first Major League win of his career.

The Nationals once again pull themselves out of the cellar and back into fourth place in the NL East with a 20-21 record and have won two games in a row.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals Score: A Jerry Hairston Jr. Home Run Is The Difference In 2-1 Game

The first game of a two-game set between the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates has so far been going the Nats way as they lead 2-1 but so far it seems Pittsburgh is more the aggressor. Both teams traded blows in the first-inning, but a rare show of power from Jerry Hairston Jr. has become the difference in the game so far that is settling into the sixth-inning.

The Bucs Steve Pearce scored Andrew McCutchen on a RBI single in the top of the first off Nationals starter John Lannan. Then in the bottom of the frame Wilson Ramos struck back for the Nats by scoring shortstop Ian Desmond with a RBI single of his own. Hairston Jr. then put the Nats ahead in the fifth-inning with a solo home run off Paul Maholm.

The Pirates continue to score hits off Lannan (seven hits to the Nats' three) who does not look sharp and seems to be nibbling at the corners of the plate. Unless Lannan calms down a bit one has to think that this score might not hold, but with a bullpen with a few rested characters the Nationals might not need a whole lot of runs Monday night.

Although they certainly will take more without arguement.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals: John Lannan Looks To Give Washington A Winning Streak

The Washington Nationals needed a big performance from Jason Marquis and several others to avoid getting swept by the Florida Marlins in a three-game series last weekend. Now, they'll look for a winning streak when the Pittsburgh Pirates come into town for a brief two-game series at Nationals Park, starting at 7:05 p.m. 

John Lannan will take the hill looking for his third win of the season for the Nationals. Lannan did not pitch well in his previous start against the Pirates, giving up four runs in five innings in a loss on April 25. He will once again go up against Pirates starter Paul Maholm, who got the best of him in that matchup.

The Nationals will be making a lineup change, moving WIlson Ramos to the cleanup spot and dropping Adam LaRoche to fifth. Reliever Todd Coffey won't be available after getting drilled by a line drive on Sunday. Here is the complete Nationals lineup.

  1. Roger Bernadina (CF)
  2. Ian Desmond (SS)
  3. Jayson Werth (RF)
  4. Wilson Ramos (C)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Michael Morse (LF)
  7. Danny Espinosa (2B)
  8. Jerry Hairston (3B)
  9. John Lannan (P)
 
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