Pittsburgh Pirates Lose Series Opener in Washington

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Jameson Taillon #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Jameson Taillon #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates saw their five-game winning streak ended by the Washington Nationals on Monday night

Final. 2. 4. 3. 90

On Monday night the Pittsburgh Pirates started a four-game series at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. with a 3-2 loss. This loss was snapped the Bucs’ five-game winning streak, was their fourth consecutive road loss, and dropped the team to 17-12 on the season.

Monday night’s loss was highlighted by poor Pirate defense and the offense struggling against Washington starting pitcher Tanner Roark. Jameson Taillon started for the Pirates on Monday night and while he was better than his previous two starts, he still was not his usual self.

Poor Pirate defense led to the Nationals scoring the game’s first run in the bottom of the 2nd inning.

To start the inning, Matt Adams singled on a ball that right fielder Gregory Polanco should have caught. With 1-out, Adam Frazier committed a throwing error while trying to turn a double play when he should have eaten the ball. All of this led to a run-scoring hit by Wilmer Difo that gave the Nats an early 1-0 lead.

The defensive woes would continue in the bottom of the 4th inning. With Washington pitcher Tanner Roark at the plate attempting to lay down a sacrifice bunt, a passed ball by Francisco Cervelli allowed both National base runners to move up a base. Roark then poked a single through a drawn-in infield to make the score 2-0 Nationals.

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Roark’s hit came on a pitch Taillon left over the heart of the plate, Taillon then did the same on a 3-2 pitch to Trea Turner that Turner collected a run-scoring hit on. This made the score 3-0 Nationals.

The top of the 5th inning saw the Pirates get on the board. Following a 2-out base knock by Jordy Mercer, Taillon ripped a double into the left-center gap. This gapper plated Mercer and cut the Nats’ lead to 3-1.

This was Taillon’s first career extra-base hit.

Corey Dickerson hit his third home run of the season in the top of the 7th inning. His solo shot cut the Washington lead to 3-2. The top of the 7th inning was the end of Roark’s night. In 7 innings pitched, he held the Pirates two 2 runs on 6 hits and a pair of walks. He was also helped out by the Pirates hitting into a pair of double plays and a caught stealing.

As for Taillon, he did a nice job of settling down late in his start. The Pirate righty allowed 3 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts in 6 innings pitched. With more help from his defense, Taillon may have held the Nats to just a single run on Monday night.

After scoreless innings out of the bullpen from Richard Rodriguez and Kyle Crick, the Pirates entered the 9th inning trailing 3-2. With Sean Doolittle unavailable, the Nationals went to Brandon Kintzler in the top of the 9th inning. Kinztler would retire the Pirates in order to finish off the 3-2 Washington victory.

Chad Kuhl will take the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night in an effort to even the series. The Pirates, however, will have their hands full as the Nationals will send two-time Cy Young Award Winner Max Scherzer to the mound. First pitch from Nationals Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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