Jason Martin had an RBI ground-rule double with two outs in the ninth inning off reliever Wander Suero as the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Sunday, taking two of three games in the series.
Josh Bell led off with a walk off loser Suero (1-1) and took second on a groundout. He then scored on the Martin double to left that bounced into the Pirates bullpen. The winning pitcher was former Nationals reliever Felipe Vazquez (1-0), who delivered two scoreless innings.
Vasquez fanned Howie Kendrick with the bases loaded for the second out in the ninth before getting hot-hitting Anthony Rendon for the final out on a fly ball to center.
Washington tied the game 3-3 in the third on a run-scoring ground out from Rendon and an RBI single from Juan Soto off Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon, who allowed three runs in six innings with four strikeouts.
The Pirates took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third as Bell had an RBI double to drive in Adam Frazier. Pittsburgh had a chance to add on against Max Scherzer but Washington center fielder Michael A. Taylor threw a laser to retire Bell at the plate for the third out when he tried to score from second on a single by Colin Moran.
Adam Eaton led off the last of the first with a single and scored on a double by Kendrick as the Nationals cut the lead to 2-1.
Bell and Moran had RBI hits in the top of the first for a 2-0 lead against Scherzer, who threw a no-hitter against the Pirates at Nationals Park on June 20, 2015.
This time Scherzer went eight innings and gave up seven hits and three runs in eight innings with seven strikeouts. He got an extra day of rest after being hit by a batted ball on the leg in his start on April 7 at New York against the Mets.
Rendon, who entered the game batting .412, had a single in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. Scherzer moved into 36th place on the all-time strikeout list as he passed Hall-of-Famer Jack Morris. The right-hander now has 2,484 strikeouts in his career.
--Field Level Media