Pirates fall to Nats on two home runs

Associated Press


Throughout the bumpy opening weeks of the Washington Nationals’ season, first-year manager Dave Martinez counseled patience and reiterated that victories would eventually materialize.

They’ve come this week at the expense of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Trea Turner and Ryan Zimmerman homered in the sixth inning and the Nationals beat Pittsburgh 3-1 Thursday, completing a four-game sweep and extending their winning streak to five games.

Jeremy Hellickson, who pitch 5 2/3 scoreless innings, and four relievers combined on a five-hitter for Washington, which won with just four hits.

“We didn’t get on base very often,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We only had a handful of times where we had two runners on base in the four games. Then when the opportunities presented themselves, we weren’t able to shoot that ball in the gap. We weren’t able to get that big swing.”

Sammy Solis (1-1) retired the only batter he faced on one pitch, ending the sixth to keep the game scoreless. Sean Doolittle recored five outs for his sixth save.

Trevor Williams (4-2) allowed only two runners over the first five innings. Turner hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot. Two batters later, Zimmerman connected for his fifth homer.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases in the eighth, but Doolittle entered and got Gregory Polanco on an RBI grounder and retired Starling Marte on a flyball.

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