July 11, 2018 / 3:45 AM / 2 months ago

Nationals beat Bucs, climb back over .500

EditorsNote: Fixes Hellickson stats in prior 2 outings — over 8 2/3 innings

Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer and the Washington Nationals added three runs in the sixth inning Tuesday to beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1.

Daniel Murphy went 4-for-4 with a run scored and Juan Soto went 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI for Washington, which broke a two-game slide and won for the fourth time in six games to climb a game over .500.

The Pirates, whose seven hits were all singles, ended a two-game winning streak and lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (3-1), who had given up 11 earned runs in his past 8 2/3 innings over two starts, allowed just three Pirates baserunners — a one-out walk to Elias Diaz in the second and back-to-back singles to Corey Dickerson and Starling Marte in the third — in his five innings. He struck out three.

Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove (3-4), who was activated from the disabled list (finger infection) earlier in the day, gave up two runs on Rendon’s homer among five hits in five innings, with nine strikeouts and one walk.

Rendon’s dinger came in the fifth. Soto reached on an infield hit before Rendon sent the ball over the wall in left, his 13th homer, for a 2-0 Washington lead.

Left-hander Steven Brault came on in the sixth for the Pirates and, after striking out Matt Adams, allowed six straight baserunners.

Trea Turner walked, Daniel Murphy singled to shallow center and Spencer Kieboom singled to center to load the bases.

Brault walked pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds on four pitches to bring Turner home. Adam Eaton knocked in Murphy with a single, and Soto drew the second bases-loaded walk of the inning to make it 5-0.

Josh Bell led off the Pirates seventh with an infield single and moved to second on Brandon Kintzler’s wild pitch, then to third on Jordy Mercer’s flyout to center and center fielder Bryce Harper’s throwing error.

Max Moroff’s groundout brought Bell home to make it 5-1.

—Field Level Media

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