Harper, Strasburg lead Nationals over Pirates
Bryce Harper hit a leadoff homer and drove in three runs, Stephen Strasburg struck out 11 and the Washington Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-3 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
Matt Adams clubbed his third homer in two games for Washington. Strasburg (3-3) allowed three runs — two earned — and seven hits in seven innings.
Batting at the top of the lineup for the second straight game, Harper sent a first-inning pitch from Ivan Nova (2-2) into the second deck in right-center for his 10th homer this season and second in two nights.
It was Harper’s first career leadoff home run.
Adams followed one out later with a shot just beyond the reach of Corey Dickerson in left field.
Harper doubled and scored in the third, drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the fourth and singled home a run in the fifth before grounding out in the seventh.
Francisco Cervelli homered for Pittsburgh, which will try to avoid a series sweep on Thursday.
Nova left after 52/3 innings. He gave up eight runs, five earned, and 11 hits.
Howie Kendrick had three hits for Washington.
The Pirates’ half of the first inning featured two replay reviews, one that led to a run.
With runners on first and second, Josh Bell hit into a fielder’s choice but Pirates manager Clint Hurdle challenged the play at second. Upon review, it was ruled that shortstop Trea Turner’s foot was off the bag when he caught the throw.
With the bases loaded, Dickerson grounded into a run-scoring fielder’s choice with Bell out at second. Hurdle challenged the play at second again, but the out call was upheld.
Pirates: Hurdle said RHP Joe Musgrove (shoulder strain) is slated to make his second rehab start Sunday. The plan is for him to throw four innings or 65 pitches for Double-A Altoona.
Nationals: 2B Daniel Murphy (offseason right knee surgery) said he is experiencing discomfort when he runs. “He’s frustrated,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He can do everything but run.” ... 3B Anthony Rendon (bruised toe) will begin a rehab assignment today. Martinez said Rendon will play one or two games with Class A Potomac.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (4-1, 2.29 ERA) makes his first career start against the Nationals. He’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three road starts this season.
Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 4.11) is 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA and .187 opponents’ batting average in five starts against the Pirates.