(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling one-win pitchers square off today at PNC Park when the host Pittsburgh Pirates and visiting Washington Nationals meet in the rubber game of a three-game weekend series.
The Nationals dropped Friday's opener but came back to win game two on Saturday, as Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run homer and knocked in four en route to a 9-2 verdict. John Lannan (7-6) struck out seven in seven strong innings, walked one and allowed a run on five hits to win for the fifth time in six starts for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Ian Desmond added three hits and an RBI to the win.
Paul Maholm's (7-14) troubles continued, as the southpaw slid to a fifth loss in six starts after surrendering eight hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 frames.
Andrew McCutchen's 13th home run of the season highlighted the Pirates' offense on the way to their sixth loss in the last eight games. Pittsburgh, which has not finished a season above .500 since 1992, has now lost at least 90 games for the sixth straight season.
New Jersey-born right-hander Charlie Morton gets the call for Pittsburgh with a chance to earn his first since early May. The 26-year-old defeated the Chicago Cubs to improve to 1-5 back on May 5, but has since gone 0-5 while also spending time in the minors.
He was recalled in time for an Aug. 29 outing at Milwaukee, in which he was ripped for nine hits and eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings of an 8-4 loss.
Morton, a third-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2002, lost his lone career start against Washington after allowing six hits and four runs in six innings.
For the Nationals, fellow former Atlanta draft pick Jason Marquis also aims for his second win of 2010. Marquis, a supplemental draft selection of the Braves in 1996, was a 15-game winner for Colorado last season before signing a deal with Washington as a free agent. It hasn't worked out so well on the East Coast, with Marquis battling injury and ineffectiveness while going 1-7 through eight starts.
He did win in his most recent outing, however, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-3 triumph at Florida on Aug. 30. It was just the third time in eight starts that Marquis pitched at least five innings.
He is 10-6 lifetime against the Pirates in 25 appearances with a 3.66 earned run average.
Washington swept a three-game set from the Pirates back in June .