The Nationals post All-Star break stumble continued Tuesday night as they fell to the Pirates 5-1. The Nationals were unable to answer a three run second inning by Pittsburgh as Gerrit Cole and Pirates relievers held the Nats to one run.
Nats starter Taylor Jordan pitched respectably. Over 7 2/3 innings, he allowed five runs, four earned.
The Pirates second inning started with Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin singles. After Garrett Jones walked to load the bases, Neil Walker grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Alvarez. Martin would score after Anthony Rendon dropped Ryan Zimmerman’s throw on a potential double play ball. Gerrit Cole drove in the last run of the inning on a RBI single.
Wilson Ramos hit his fifth home run of the season off Cole in the third. It would be the Nats lone run of the night.
The Pirates went on to add a couple of insurance runs in the eighth. Alvarez hit a solo home run, his 25th of the season, off of Jordan. Gaby Sanchez later hit a RBI double to seal the Pirates victory.
The loss drops the Nationals to 48-52 for the season and eight games back of the Braves. The Nationals will look to start turning things around and salvage any playoff hopes tomorrow when Stephen Strasburg will take the mound against Pirates starter Francisco Liriano.