César Hernández singled to left off Pirates’ starter Mitch Keller in the first at-bat of tonight’s game in PNC Park, connecting for his 5th leadoff hit in five games on the Nationals’ current road trip. Hernández, the Nats’ highlighted in their pregame notes, began the 2nd of 4 with the Bucs having, “... hit safely in 7 of 8 games to start the season ...[and] recorded a run in 5 straight games,” as well.
Hernández’s was the first of four consecutive singles off Keller to start the game, with Juan Soto, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Bell all reaching base and Cruz and Bell driving in the first two runs with their hits, 2-0.
Keibert Ruiz grounded out for the first out of the inning, but Yadiel Hernández walked, and loaded the bases, before Maikel Franco K’d unproductively, (on a check-swing strike three), and Lane Thomas stranded three runners when he struck out too to let Keller off the hook.
Cruz singled again with two out in the second, driving Alcides Escobar in from third after he’d walked, stolen second, and moved up on a groundout, 3-0.
Hernández and Soto hit back-to-back, one-out singles off Keller in the top of the fourth, and Cruz sent an RBI groundout to the right side to give the Nationals a two-run lead following a Pirates’ rally that got them within one, 4-2.
Mitch Keller’s Line: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 84 P, 50 S, 5/1 GO/FO.
Erick Fedde limited the New York Mets to two runs in five innings in his 2022 debut, and the club rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the 8th to claim their first win of the season.
Fedde told reporters after his outing last Sunday afternoon, the only win for the Nationals in four games with the Mets, that it was important to get the W in the books after dropping the first three games to start the 2022 campaign.
“The last thing we wanted to do was get swept out of our home series to start the year,” Fedde said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“I think everyone just feels relieved and glad to get one on the proper side of the column.”
In start No. 2 for the 2014 Nationals’ first round pick, the right-hander was trying to help his club avoid a second straight loss to the Pirates after they dropped the series opener Friday night.
A single and two walks in the second in PNC loaded the bases with Bucs, as Fedde started to struggle with his command, and Hoy Park sliced a two-out single to left field, to drive in two runs and make it a 3-2 game in the Nationals’ favor.
A run in the fourth, and another in the fifth, gave Fedde some breathing room, and he came back out for the fifth at 76 pitches, and worked around a two-out single in a 20-pitch inning which left him at 96 overall and ended his night...
Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 96 P, 59 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
Anthony Banda came on for the Pirates with a runner (Juan Soto) on second base and two out in the top of the fourth, and got the final out, 4-2 Nationals.
Miguel Yajure, a right-hander, came on for the Bucs in the fifth, and gave up one- and two-out doubles by Yadiel Hernández and Lane Thomas, with Thomas’s 2nd of the year scoring Hernández from third to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead.
Yajure hit Alcides Escobar in the first at-bat of the sixth, then walked Juan Soto and Nelson Cruz one out later, loading the bases in front of Josh Bell, who shot a single out to left field to drive in two more, 7-2 Nationals.
Sean Doolittle tossed a scoreless, 14-pitch frame in the seventh.
Austin Voth made quick work of the Pirates’ hitters in an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th, still 7-2, and came back out for the bottom of the eighth and made it 6 up and down with another clean frame.
Paolo Espino got the ninth for the Nationals and worked around a two-out single to end it.
Nationals now 4-5