Reporting Byron Kerr
The Nationals veteran Ivan Rodriguez was brought in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning and he battled Pirates reliever Tony Watson to an RBI single that scored Rick Ankiel with the eventual winning run, as the Nationals came back to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3, before 39,638 at Nationals Park, earning a split of the Saturday double header.
Drew Storen pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.
Pittsburgh had grabbed the lead in the seventh inning following on an RBI double play grounder off the bat of Josh Harrison, and the Pirates led, 3-2.
Right-hander Brad Lincoln, who was making his initial start of the season for the Pirates, was promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis prior to the nightcap. Lincoln delivered an impressive start, pitching six innings, allowing only two runs on four hits, with three walks and four strikeouts.
Lannan stayed with Lincoln pitch-for-pitch, allowing just three runs on six hits, no walks, one strikeout in seven innings. He had to throw only 80 pitches, 58 of those for strikes.
The Pirates got to Lannan in the third inning, beginning with the first major league base hit for catcher Eric Fryer. After a sacrifice and a ground out, Pittsburgh got back-to-back RBI hits from Chase d’Arnaud and Andrew McCutchen. D’Arnaud’s base hit made it 1-nothing and McCutchen’s double scored another run. The Pirates were up, 2-0.