Nats Welcome Bucs To Town Hoping For Improved Offensive Showing

After a pitiful offensive showing in the Dodger series where the team managed just five runs in three games, the Nationals fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein. Eckstein was the scapegoat for a team that currently ranks 28th overall in runs and 27th in team batting average. Washington hopes that the offense will step up for the series that starts tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh, one of the most improved teams in baseball with a 57-39 record, will send right hander Charlie Morton(1-2, 3.19) to the mound. The Nats will counter with right hander Dan Haren(4-10, 5.61). After a horrendous June, Haren has strung together a pair of strong starts since returning from the DL, giving up two runs in 11 innings.

Lineups:

Pittsburgh Pirates: 57-39
1. Starling Marte, LF
2. Jordy Mercer, 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
5. Russell Martin, C
6. Garrett Jones, RF
7. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
8. Clint Barmes, SS
9. Charlie Morton, RHP

Washington Nationals: 48-50
1. Bryce Harper, LF
2. Anthony Rendon, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam LaRoche, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, RF
6. Ian Desmond, SS
7. Denard Span, CF
8. Wilson Ramos, C
9. Dan Haren, RHP

First Pitch 7:05

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