Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham and Mike Morse each hit solo home runs for the Nationals in a 4-2 win over the Pirates, as Washington completed its first three-game sweep of the 2010 season.
Livan Hernandez (5-3) was once again solid on the hill, yielding two runs on five hits and two walks in six innings for the win, his first since May 4. The veteran hurler has allowed two runs or less in 10 of 12 starts this season.
Washington came into the series on a 1-5 stretch, but Stephen Strasburg's exceptional debut in the opener set the stage for the club's first three-game sweep of Pittsburgh since June 28-30, 2005.
Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata both drove in a run for the Pirates, losers of five straight. Zach Duke (3-7) was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits and three walks in five-plus frames.
Dunn broke a scoreless tie in the fourth, sending a hanging breaking ball deep over the wall in right for his 13th round-tripper of the season. Two batters later, Willingham launched his 12th, a shot to left-center.
A pair of Pirates miscues in the fifth allowed the Nats to push the margin to 3-0. Dunn hit a two-out single, advanced to second on a balk and scored when Ryan Doumit couldn't handle Andy LaRoche's short-hop throw from third on a ball hit by Ryan Zimmerman.
Pittsburgh got going in the sixth, as Duke started things with a double and scored on an opposite-field two-bagger by Tabata, who made his MLB debut on Wednesday and scored later in the frame on McCutchen's sacrifice fly.
Hernandez maintained the 3-2 advantage, stranding a pair of runners by getting Doumit to fly out to left and striking out Bobby Crosby.
Sean Burnett tossed two scoreless innings of relief for Washington, and the hosts got an insurance run in the eighth on Morse's blast off Brendan Donnelly.
With regular closer Matt Capps having pitched the two previous games, Tyler Clippard took over in the ninth. After two quick outs, Jason Jaramillo singled to center to bring the tying run to the plate.
Clippard was up to the task, catching pinch-hitter Ryan Church looking at strike three to record his first career save.
Washington has won five straight against Pittsburgh dating back to last season...Morse, who had three hits, hit his first homer since September 28, 2009 against the Mets...Pittsburgh's Evan Meek came in with the bases loaded in the sixth and did not give up a run. He leads all MLB relievers (minimum 25.0 innings) with a 0.76 earned-run average.