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

Did John Paxson just admit the Bulls are tanking?

Report: Celtics trying to add both George and Hayward

Report: Carmelo Anthony may be open to trade to Wizards, Sixers

Report: Roadblock to Kirk Cousins-Redskins deal isn't money

Taco Charlton finally lands taco endorsement deal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Serena Williams told John McEnroe to back off after he said she’d be No. 700 in the men’s rankings

Vince Young blasts Jeff Fisher, vows to ‘expose’ him

Committed Cam Newton: 'I know I need to be better'

WWE comments on LaMelo Ball using racial slur during ‘Raw’

Terrell Owens, Michael Vick help launch flag football league

Father of LSU player, LSU strength coach save Florida fan’s life at CWS

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

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

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

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