Rookie comes through for Bucs in 9th
Rookie Jason Martin hit a tiebreaking double in the top of the ninth inning against Washington’s shaky bullpen, then Felipe Vazquez escaped a bases-loaded jam Sunday to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-3 win over the Nationals.
The Pirates took two of three and won a series at Nationals Park for the first time since 2013.
Josh Bell drew a leadoff walk in the ninth from Wander Suero (1-1) and moved to second on Colin Moran’s grounder. With two outs, Martin hit a ground-rule double to left for his second major league RBI.
Washington entered the day with the worst bullpen ERA in the majors and it rose to 7.75.
The Nationals loaded the bases in the bottom half on a single, walk and Adam Eaton’s bunt single with one out. Vazquez (1-0) struck out Howie Kendrick and retired Anthony Rendon on a flyball to end it.
Washington starter Max Scherzer allowed three runs and seven hits while working a season-high eight innings. He struck out seven.
Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.
Rendon extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a single in the sixth.
ARCHER DROPS APPEAL
Archer dropped his appeal and began serving a five-game suspension for setting off a benches-clearing altercation on April 7. Archer threw a fastball behind Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich, who had stood and watched a long home run in his previous at-bat. Archer, who pitched seven innings Saturday against Washington, will make his next start April 21 at home against San Francisco.
Pirates: Pittsburgh begins a two-game series at Detroit Tuesday as RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0, 0.00 ERA) starts against the Tigers for the first time.