Nats win Strasburg start vs. Pirates

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 04, 2013
Stephen Strasburg struck out eight in seven innings and the Washington Nationals won a game he started for the first time since Opening Day by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 Saturday. Tyler Moore hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning off Tony Watson (1-1) Wilson Ramos' RBI single in the sixth tied the game at 4 after Pittsburgh built a two-run lead. A day after striking out four times upon being activated from the disabled list, Zimmerman scored three runs. Starling Marte and Clint Barmes each hit two-run homers for the Pirates. Strasburg remained winless since his first start, though. He allowed four runs and five hits. Tyler Clippard (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and Rafael Soriano got his 10th save with an unconventional 1-2-3 ninth. Russell Martin was thrown out at second trying to extend a leadoff single, then Soriano got Pedro Alvarez to pop out and Jordy Mercer to strike out to end the game. Veteran Washington manager Davey Johnson called a rare team meeting before the game in an effort to help kick start a lethargic offense that had scored three or fewer runs 14 times in its first 20 games. Johnson's primary message: Relax. For the first time since the franchise moved from Montreal eight years ago, the Nationals entered the season with high expectations. The NL East champions entered the game with 239 strikeouts by their batters, second-most in the NL, and whiffed 14 times during Friday's series-opening loss. In an effort to loosen the team up, the 70-year-old Johnson even took batting practice -- hacking about 40 swings -- for what he said was the first time in 25 years. The results were mixed most of the afternoon: The Nationals scored three runs for the first time in seven games, but had only six hits. Pirates starter Jeff Locke allowed three of those during his five-plus innings, allowing four runs, three earned, with three walks and three strikeouts. Ian Desmond's sacrifice fly in the third snapped a 15-plus scoreless inning streak by Locke. Adam LaRoche drove in Zimmerman with a fly to right an inning later after Zimmerman led off the inning with a triple. Marte's homer was his fourth of the season. Barmes' was his first of the season. Notes Washington OF Denard Span was not in the lineup a day after fouling a ball off his right foot. The Nationals are without OF Jayson Werth (right hamstring) for the series. ... Pittsburgh had a four-game home winning streak snapped. ... All of the Pirates' seven runs in the series have come by way of home run. ... Pittsburgh CF Andrew McCutchen extended his hitting streak against the Nationals to 17 games. ... A pair of left-handers start in the series finale Sunday. The last time Pittsburgh's Wandy Rodriguez (2-1, 3.91) faced Washington's Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 3.54), it was a 1-0 pitcher's duel won by Gonzalez on April 17, 2012.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker