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GAME RECAP: Washington Nationals vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Bell, Gomes leads as Nationals win 4 in a row; Pirates lose 10 straight.

In the first inning, Nationals RHP Paolo Espino got off to a good start after quickly retiring three Pirates and giving up no hits.

Kyle Schwarber singled to deep right but ultimately no damage was done as Juan Soto grounded into a double play. In the bottom of the second, catcher Yan Gomes sent a deep shot to left field, making the score 1-0 and totaling 7 home runs for the season.

At the top of the third, Chase De Jong got his first major league hit when he doubled to deep left center, getting by Victor Robles in centerfield. Ultimately, the Pirates left him stranded.

In the top of the fourth, Bryan Reynolds doubled to deep right. Greg Polanco followed up with a single to centerfield, taking Reynolds to third. After a swing and miss by Phillip Evans, Polanco stole second base and eventually Evans struck out. Espino escapes the inning by getting Ben Gamel to ground out and leaving two stranded.

De Jong strikes out Juan Soto swinging in the bottom of the fourth, but walks Josh Bell. Gomes second chance at bat results in a single up centerfield, sending Bell from first to third. Garcia beat the first baseman with a infield single, which gets the bases loaded as Jordy Mercer stepped up to bat. Mercer struck out, and Victor Robles popped out to second. Nationals stranded three to end the fourth inning. The squad has struggled with bases loaded and very few sac flys this season.

After pitching changes and limited activity in the fifth inning, the action picked up in the sixth when Chris Stratton walked Mercer, which got the bases loaded again. Ryan Zimmerman pinch hits for Tanner Rainey but popped out to deep centerfield. Nationals left 8 stranded through six innings.

A challenge at the top of the 7th proved to be right, and it led to a Kevin Newman grounder into fielder’s choice and Jacob Stallings single. But no further damage was made as Kyle Finnegan struck out Colin Moran swinging. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Juan Soto singled to left. Josh Bell followed up and got his ninth home run of the year as he belted one to right centerfield, making the Nats lead grow to 3-0.

In the eighth, Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled to right and scored after Bryan Reynolds singled to left center, making the score 3-1. Gregory Polanco struck out swinging while Phillip Evans flied out.

Nats go 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth, but closed up shop in the top of the ninth.

Josh Bell went 2-3 with 1 HR, and 2 RBI against his former team. Juan Soto finished 1-4 while Yan Gomes finished with 2-4, 1 HR, and 1 RBI.

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