Pirates 6, Nationals 3: Nats drop the first game of the doubleheader

Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats

The Nationals fell to the Pirates, 6-3, in the first game of their doubleheader Saturday following Friday’s rainout.

Pittsburgh struck first in the second inning, as Rodolfo Castro and Miguel Andujar followed up Connor Joe‘s leadoff walk with a pair of singles to drive in Joe.

Joe then homered in the fourth to give the Bucs a two-run lead, though Washington answered with two runs of their own later that inning — the Nats put two on with Stone Garrett reaching on a catcher’s interference and Luis Garcia singling, before Riley Adams drove in both with a two-out, game-tying double to make it a 2-2 affair.

After yielding a leadoff double to Andrew McCutchen and retiring Joe on a groundout to begin the sixth, Corbin was pulled with one out and relieved by Carl Edwards, who served up a two-out long ball to Andujar that put the Pirates out in front, 4-2.

The Nats got a run back in the home half of the sixth thanks to Garcia’s triple, as all that was needed was an RBI groundout to put them within one, though Pittsburgh added two more in the eighth to put it out of reach for Washington. Thad Ward was pulled for Anthony Banda after yielding a leadoff walk to Andujar, and Banda would load the bases before walking home a run and being pulled for Erasmo Ramirez.

Ramirez would work out of the bases-loaded jam only letting one run come through to Banda’s line, yielding a sac fly from Bryan Reynolds and getting the other two outs on groundouts.

Jordan Weems, Washington’s 27th man for the doubleheader, hurled a scoreless top of the ninth out of the bullpen that was mooted by the Nats going down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning.

Corbin finished his day allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk, only striking out two but pitching to his third straight solid start despite taking the loss, also lowering his ERA a few ticks from 5.81 to 5.74. The Nats look ahead to Game 2 of the doubleheader, as well as the series finale Sunday.

Saturday @ 6:05 p.m. ET (GAME 2): Chad Kuhl vs Vince Velasquez

Sunday @ 1:05 p.m. ET: Josiah Gray vs Johan Oviedo

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