PITTSBURGH — Nelson Cruz and Josh Bell drove in three runs every and the Washington Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 on Friday evening.
Each of the highest 4 hitters within the Nationals’ lineup – César Hernández, Juan Soto, Cruz and Bell — had two hits whereas combining to go 8 for 17.
Washington supervisor Dave Martinez feels Hernandez units the tone of because the leadoff hitter. Hernandez was signed within the offseason.
“The key for him, don’t try to do too much, just get on base,” Martinez mentioned. “Right now, he’s staying on the ball with two strikes, hitting the ball the other way and trying to get on base, which is awesome.”
Erik Fedde (1-0) allowed two runs and 4 hits in 5 innings, struck out six and walked two.
Three pitchers mixed for 4 scoreless innings of one-hit reduction.
“They were awesome,” Martinez mentioned of the trio of Sean Doolittle, Austin Voth and Paolo Espino. “I’ve got all the faith in the world in those guys.”
Mitch Keller (0-2) struggled for a second straight begin, giving up 4 runs, seven hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. His ERA is 9.39 after two begins.
“I’m cool with how I’m throwing right now,” Keller mentioned. “I’m feeling really good. It was seven singles today. I just got to keep pushing forward.”
The Nationals had 4 straight singles to start the sport, together with RBI hits by Cruz and Bell. Cruz singled in one other run within the third to make it 3-0.
“When he gets hot, it’s a sight to see,” Martinez mentioned of Cruz, signed as a free agent in the course of the offseason. “He’s a professional hitter and has a lot of RBIs for a reason. Him and Josh Bell are swinging the bats really well right now.”
Hoy Park accounted for the Pirates’ scoring with a two-run double within the second.
“We had Fedde on the ropes a few times and made him have to execute pitches and we just couldn’t get the big hit,” Pittsburgh supervisor Derek Shelton mentioned.
The Nationals broke open the sport within the center innings, growing their result in 7-2. Cruz plated a run with a groundout within the fourth, Yadiel Hernández doubled and scored on Lane Thomas’ double within the fifth and Bell delivered a two-run single within the sixth with the bases loaded.
Bell has reached base in every of the Nationals’ 9 video games. He performed for the Pirates from 2016-20 and began within the 2019 All-Star Game.
“We are where we want to be,” Cruz mentioned of the offense. “It’s early in the season, but we’re doing good things: getting on base, finding ways to score runs. That’s what we need to be doing.”
TIME OFF FOR ROBLES
Nationals heart fielder Victor Robles didn’t begin for a second straight recreation. Instead, he did intensive pre-game work with hitting coach Darnell Coles.
Robles is hitless in 15 at-bats up to now this season. He additionally batted .209 in 159 video games the previous two seasons.
The Nationals place infielder/outfielder Dee Strange-Gordon (sickness) on the 10-day injured record and recalled outfielder Donovan Casey from Triple-A Rochester. Casey was one among 4 prospects acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers final July in a commerce for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
Washington additionally claimed outfielder Josh Palacios off waivers from Toronto and optioned him to Rochester. Palacios made his main league debut final season, enjoying in eight video games for the Blue Jays.
Nationals: Martinez mentioned Strange-Gordon was feeling higher Friday, a day after being scratched from the lineup, however was unable to remark additional.
Pirates: C Roberto Perez (bruised left quadriceps) left the sport within the second inning after being struck by Cruz’s foul tip … LHP Sam Howard (mid again muscle pressure) started a rehab project at Low-A Bradenton. … OF Anthony Alford (proper wrist pressure) has began swinging a bat and will go on a rehab project subsequent week.
Nationals: LHP Josh Rogers (1-0, 1.69 ERA) begins Saturday. He allowed two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings final season in his lone look in opposition to the Pirates.
Pirates: RHP Bryse Wilson (0-0, 6.75 ERA) shall be making his second begin of the season after giving up three runs in 4 innings Sunday at St. Louis.
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