EditorsNote: rewords second and third grafs
Bryce Harper homered for the second consecutive night from the leadoff spot, and Matt Adams also went deep as the Washington Nationals defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 9-3 on Wednesday night.
The Nationals have won the first three games of the four-game series.
Harper finished the night 3-for-5 with three RBIs. He has homered in both games since manager Dave Martinez moved him to the top spot of the order.
Harper now has 10 homers, while Adams hit his sixth. The Nationals finished with 14 hits.
Washington starter Stephen Strasburg (3-3) went seven innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and striking out 11 with just one walk.
Pittsburgh starter Ivan Nova (2-2) had allowed a total of one run in his previous two starts, but the Nationals got to him for eight (five earned) on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.
The Pirates scored once in the top of the first, but Harper and Adams hit their solo homers in the bottom half. Harper’s was a blast, going into the second deck in right-center for his first career leadoff homer.
Pittsburgh tied it on a single from Corey Dickerson (two RBIs) in the third before Adams put the Nats up 3-2 with an RBI single in bottom half.
Harper made it 4-2 by driving in a run on a force play in the fourth before Washington broke it open with four in the fifth.
Pirates second baseman Max Moroff’s fielding error let in two runs before Wilmer Difo’s forceout made it 7-2. Harper struck again with an RBI single for an 8-2 lead.
Francisco Cervelli got one back for Pittsburgh with his homer in the sixth before Andrew Stevenson answered for Washington with an RBI single in the bottom half.
Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon (bruised left big toe) is going to start a rehab assignment with high Class-A Potomac on Thursday. He has been out since April 13, but he could return in a few days. Meanwhile, second baseman Daniel Murphy (microfracture surgery last fall) likely needs more time as he is having trouble running.
Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer was named National League Pitcher of the Month on Wednesday after going 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA and 57 strikeouts in March/April.
—Field Level Media