Nationals Vs. Pirates: Washington Drops Season Series After 5-3 Loss To Pittsburgh

Andrew McCutchen hits two home runs and Rod Barajas adds a third as the Pirates split the two-game series.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals Recap: Jordan Zimmermann Not Sharp, Washington Loses 5-3

The Washington Nationals dropped game 2 of a quick two-game set against the Pirates on Thursday night, 5-3. Jordan Zimmermann did not have his best stuff, and the Pittsburgh lineup pounced early on with the long ball. Andrew McCutchen went the other way in the first inning to hit one into the Nats' bullpen in right for a quick 1-0 lead. McCutchen struck again in the sixth inning with a bomb to left. The McCutchen homers sandwiched a two-run shot from Rod Barajas that put the Nats in an early 4-0 hole from which they would not recover.

Pittsburgh starter James McDonald was dominant through the first five innings, allowing no hits and striking out 10. The Nats put together a rally in the sixth inning, with four hits and three runs and chased McDonald. Jesus Flores finally broke up the no-hitter with a ripped double down the left-field line. Ryan Zimmerman came through with a big single to right that knocked in Flores and Steven Lombardozzi. But after knocking out McDonald, they could not convert against the Pittsburgh bullpen, and the Bucs would clinch the season series with a 5-3 win.

The Nats now begin interleague play on Friday night by hosting the Baltimore Orioles. Game 1 will feature a pitching matchup of Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta.

For more Nationals coverage and discussion, check out Federal Baseball. For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout. For the latest news and analysis from around the big leagues, check out Baseball Nation.

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Nationals Vs. Pirates Lineup: Bryce Harper Bats Fifth As Jordan Zimmermann Starts Against Pittsburgh

The Washington Nationals close out their two-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night. Probably the biggest change in the lineup for the Nationals will be that right fielder Bryce Harper will bat fifth in the lineup on Thursday night.

Left fielder Roger Bernadina will bat out of the second spot in the lineup. Rick Ankiel will start in center field for the Nationals and bat out of the eighth spot in the lineup.

Jordan Zimmermann will take to the mound for the Nationals on Thursday and look to pull his 2012 pitching record, currently 2-3, even.

The game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

For more Nationals coverage and discussion, check out Federal Baseball. For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout. For the latest news and analysis from around the big leagues, check out Baseball Nation.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann Takes Mound Looking For Short Sweep

The Washington Nationals are playing their second two-game series in a row, and like their set against the Padres earlier this week, they won the first game. They weren't able to earn the short sweep against the Padres, but they'll have the chance to get one against the Pirates on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm and you can find the game on MASN.

After Gio Gonzalez shut the Pirates down on Wednesday, the Nats will send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound to try and accomplish the same goal on Thursday. The Pirates have an offense that can only be described as anemic, so Zimmermann should be able to get it done. But the Nationals pitching staff had their issues with this lineup last week, so who knows what might happen. This is the final game before the Beltway series which now has more meaning than it maybe ever has, so you know the Nationals would like to go into it with good momentum.

For more Nationals coverage and discussion, check out Federal Baseball. For more on thePirates, head over to Bucs Dugout. For the latest news and analysis from around the big leagues, check out Baseball Nation.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals Final Score: Gio Gonzalez Fans 10 In 7 Innings In 7-4 Win

The Washington Nationals hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday evening, winning the first game against the Bucs in a two-game set 7-4. The Pirates struggled to get solid contact on the ball with Gio Gonzalez on the mound for the Nats, as he struck out 10 batters in seven innings of work. Gonzalez gave up just four hits and three runs during his time on the mound, picking up his fifth win of the season.

The Priates pulled within a run of the Nats late in the game, but the Nats offense went back to work, adding three runs the seventh inning thanks to an Adam LaRoche double with the bases loaded. The Nats have now picked up two wins in a row against the Pirates and look to sweep the two-game series on Thursday.

For more Nationals coverage and discussion, check out Federal Baseball. For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout. For the latest news and analysis from around the big leagues, check out Baseball Nation.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals Score Update: Washington Takes Early 2-0 Lead

The Washington Nationals dropped two of their three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates in their first meeting, but are off to a quick start on Wednesday evening, holding a 2-0 lead after three innings. Gio Gonzalez has allowed one hit so far, while fanning give Pirates batters through three innings.

The Nats picked up an early score in the first inning when Ryan Zimmerman plated Bryce Harper on a ground out to shortstop. In the bottom of the third inning, shortstop Ian Desmond extended the Nats lead with a solo home run to left field, giving the Nats the 2-0 lead after three innings.

The Pirates have struggled offensively so far, getting just one hit and struggling to get contact.

For more Nationals coverage and discussion, check out Federal Baseball. For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout. For the latest news and analysis from around the big leagues, check out Baseball Nation.

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Pirates Vs. Nationals Starting Lineup

The Washington Nationals have released their starting lineup for their matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

Here is the lineup, in batting order:

Ian Desmond, SS
Bryce Harper, CF
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Xavier Nady, RF
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Tyler Moore, LF
Jesus Flores, C
Gio Gonzalez, P

Gonzalez is looking to pick up his fifth win of the season thus far and his third win in a row on Tuesday, coming off a win against the Cincinnati Reds where Gonzalez struck out nine batters through five innings. This will be the first time he's faced off against the Pirates this season.

In the last matchup with the Pirates, the Nationals hit three home runs late in the game to, as Rick Ankiel, Adam LaRoche, and Roger Bernadina all went deep. Tyler Moore also picks up his third start of the season.

For more Nationals coverage and discussion, check out Federal Baseball. For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout. For the latest news and analysis from around the big leagues, check out Baseball Nation.

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Wilson Ramos Injury: Nationals Catcher Admits No Chance Of 2012 Return

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the week after suffering a knee injury in the game against the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. Ramos is back at Nationals Park, but according to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, he'll be out for much longer than initially anticipated.

Ramos will now miss the rest of the MLB season after having surgery on his knee to repair a torn ligament. With Ramos out for the year, and with Sandy Leon on the 15-day disabled list with a high ankle sprain, look for Carlos Maldonado to stick around the big leagues for a little while longer.

For more Nationals coverage and discussion, check out Federal Baseball. For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout. For the latest news and analysis from around the big leagues, check out Baseball Nation.

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Nationals Vs. Pirates: Washington Continues Homestand Against Pittsburgh

The Washington Nationals turn to Gio Gonzalez to start a two-game home set against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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