The Washington Nationals snapped their three-game losing streak and avoided a sweep in Pittsburgh with a 4-2 win over the Pirates in the series finale on Thursday night. Washington got some timely hitting and a dominant pitching performance from their starter to get the win.
Game 3 was all about Stephen Strasburg, who was lights-out. Strasburg, who set a career-high for strikeouts in his big league debut against the Bucs two years ago, fanned 13 over six innings pitched. He was dynamite, blowing it by the final hitter he faced for No. 13. Aside from a hiccup in the fourth inning, when the Pirates scored two runs, the Nats' starter did a perfect job of stopping the mini-skid.
The Nationals' offense came alive in the sixth inning, breaking a Kevin Correia shutout to take the lead, 3-2. Washington did the damage via the long ball, as Roger Bernardina led off the inning with a solo shot to straight away center. After a Ryan Zimmerman walk, Adam LaRoche smoked his sixth homer of the season -- a two-run shot to put Washington ahead for good.
Rick Ankiel added some insurance for Henry Rodirguez in the top of the 9th with a homer to the first row over the high wall in right field. Rodriguez came on and converted his seventh save of the season to salvage the series.
The Nats now travel over to Cincinnati to face the Reds for a weekend series. Gio Gonzalez will get the start for Washington while Mike Leake will go for the Red.
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