Espinosa’s Big Blast Foils Pirates Strategy, 4-2

Danny Espinosa crushed Pirates relief pitcher Jose Ascanio’s first offering and deposited it deep in the right field bullpen to lift the Washington Nationals to a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates before 21,960 at Nationals Park.

Cole Kimball pitched one inning of relief for his first major league victory (1-0). Drew Storen gave up two hits and no runs for his ninth save. John Lannan went six and one-third innings allowing seven hits but only two runs.

The Pirates have to be kicking themselves after this one. Pittsburgh had chances early on against Nationals starter John Lannan, who struggled throwing strikes. The Pirates squandered four hits in the first two frames, leaving four men on base. Pittsburgh managed a first inning run on Steve Pearce’s RBI single. But the Bucs ended up leaving nine men on base.

Down 1-0, the Nationals answered with a run in the bottom of the first. After Ian Desmond walked against Pirates starter Paul Maholm, Jayson Werth singled. A Wilson Ramos base knock brought Desmond home to even up the game.

The Pirates ran themselves out of scoring chances in the fourth. Brandon Wood was gunned down by a nice throw from Roger Bernadina to Jerry Hairston. Following a Chris Snyder base hit, Ronny Cedeno doubled.

With Snyder at third, the Nationals caught him attempting to steal home. Lannan tagged out Snyder in a run down between third base and home plate.

Hairston connected on a 3-1 pitch in the fifth for his second home run of the season, giving the Nationals a 2-1 lead.

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