Tanner Roark shut out the Pirates over eight innings as the Washington Nationals picked up their fifth straight win win, 6-0
While the start of tonight’s game was delayed over an hour, that did not affect the play of Washington Nationals starter Tanner Roark. Roark threw eight shutout innings and the Nats gave Roark some early run support against Pittsburgh Pirates starter Gerrit Cole in his return to Pittsburgh’s rotation. The Washington Nationals won the game 6-0 to pick up their fifth straight win.
The scoring started in the bottom of the first. After a one out walk and stolen base by Jayson Werth and a single by Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon singled to left to drive in Werth. Even though Harper was thrown out trying to go to third base, the Washington Nationals still had a 1-0 lead.
One inning later, Stephen Drew and Danny Espinosa had back-to-back doubles to extend the lead to 2-0. Drew, who was filling in for Daniel Murphy at second base (out with sore hamstring), went 3-for-4 with two doubles in this game.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Nats loaded the bases with one out. With Roark at the plate, he was able to help his own cause with an infield single that ended up scoring two runs thanks to a Josh Harrison throwing error. The lead went to 5-0 when Espinosa scored on a Ben Revere fielder’s choice.
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That would be the last inning that Cole pitched for the Pirates tonight. In his first start since June 10, Cole went four innings, gave up five runs (four earned runs) on seven hits, struck out five, and walked two in a loss.
As for Roark, he was dominant right from the beginning of the game. He went eight innings, gave up no runs on five hits, struck out five, and walked one on 110 pitches (80 strikes) to pick up his ninth win of the season and his third win in his last four starts. Plus, he did not give up a single extra-base hit. After Roark, Blake Treinen threw a scoreless ninth inning while striking out one.
Once Cole left the game, the Washington Nationals added one more run in the fifth when Rendon hit a solo home run to left center against A.J. Schugel. Rendon’s tenth home run of the season and his second hit of the night increased the lead to 6-0. Rendon went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s in his first game this season in which he was hitting cleanup in the order.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (56-36) will go for the sweep and their sixth straight win tomorrow afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates (46-45) at Nats Park. You can watch the game at 1:35 p.m ET on MASN and WUSA9. Max Scherzer (10-6, 3.03 ERA) will take the ball for the Nats against Chad Kuhl (1-0, 6.08) for the Pirates.