Andrew McCutchen continues to dominate the Washington Nationals. In the first, he took Jordan Zimmermann deep to right field for his fourth homer of the year, putting the Bucs up 1-0 early. James McDonald was dealing in the early innings, striking out 7 Nats through 3 innings on some nasty breaking pitches.
Rod Barajas kept up his hot streak at the plate with a two run homer in the fourth to make it 3-0. Barajas would pick up two more hits in the game. McDonald had a no-hitter through five innings, with one walk given up to Bryce Harper. Cutch homered a second time (his 5th multi-homer game of his career) in the sixth, an absolute rocket to left field to make it 4-0. The Nationals finally got to McDonald, getting runners on second and third with two down in the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman drove in both runs with a single, cutting the Bucs’ lead in half. Adam LaRoche continued to kill the Pirates, tripling to left on a bad play by Jose Tabata, chasing McDonald from the game and making it 4-3. J-Mac only got 17 outs, but 11 came on strikeouts. Tony Watson got the last out of the inning, getting Harper to pop out and strand LaRoche at third.
Neil Walker picked up an insurance run in the seventh, beating out a double play to pick up the RBI. The back end of the Pirates bullpen closed out the rest of the game, with Juan Cruz, Jason Grilli, and Joel Hanrahan each pitching a scoreless inning. The Bucs split the series in DC, and head to Detroit for a weekend series.
McDonald’s final line: 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 11 K, 1 BB
Pirates (18-20) – Nationals (23-15)
Win: McDonald (3-2)
Loss: Zimmermann (2-4)
Save: Hanrahan (8)