by Murat Karul
In a Monday matchup, CJ Abrams showcased his power with two home runs, while Dominic Smith also went deep to propel the Washington Nationals to a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opening game of a four-game series.
Joey Meneses contributed to the Nationals’ win with an RBI single, breaking their recent slump as they came into the game with a 3-10 record in their last 13 outings.
On the pitching front, Washington’s starter, Patrick Corbin (10-13), delivered a solid performance, allowing just two runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings. He recorded eight strikeouts, falling just one short of his season high, and issued only one walk.
For the Pirates (66-78), Ji Hwan Bae and Bryan Reynolds both had RBI hits, but their efforts weren’t enough to secure the win. Pittsburgh’s starter, Andre Jackson (1-3), had a challenging outing, surrendering four runs and four hits in four innings, along with one strikeout and two walks.
The game’s turning points included Abrams’ two-run homer in the third inning, giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead, and a couple of runs added by Washington in the fourth, with Keibert Ruiz scoring on Meneses’ single and an additional run coming from a bases-loaded situation.
Smith extended the Nationals’ lead with his eighth home run of the season in the sixth inning, making it 5-1 in favor of Washington.
Abrams continued to shine in the seventh with his second homer of the game, marking his first multi-homer game of the season and bringing his total to 18 home runs. This impressive performance came after he sat out the previous game due to a bruised knee.
Pittsburgh managed to score another run in the seventh when Miguel Andujar doubled and eventually crossed the plate, but it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.
With one out in the seventh inning, Jordan Weems took over the pitching duties for Washington, securing four outs, while Jose A. Ferrer closed out the game with a scoreless ninth inning to secure the Nationals’ 6-2 victory.