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Washington Nationals 3-2 over Pittsburgh Pirates on 2-out, 2-run Maikel Franco home run in 8th...

Maikel Franco finally got a hold of one, and the Nationals beat the Pirates, 3-2.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Fedde vs the Bucs:

Davey Martinez liked the way Erick Fedde attacked the zone against the Baltimore Orioles in six scoreless innings in OPACY last week, though he once again noted that their 29-year-old right-hander would likely go deeper into his outings if he was able to put opposing hitters away in three pitches or less.

“When does that he’s going to give us seven innings, or eight innings, which is great. But he did well,” Martinez said.

“He got ahead of a lot of hitters tonight, fell behind 2-2, 3-2, but when he needed to throw a strike, he threw a strike.”

“Anytime I can take six scoreless, I’ll sign up for that,” Fedde said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, before indirectly agreeing with his manager’s assessment.

“I wish - I feel like I said the same thing last start - I could just stop wasting pitches. But I’ll still take six, no matter what.”

Taking on the Pirates for the second time this season tonight, Fedde, who gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in a six-inning start in PNC Park back in mid-April, retired the side in order in the first, on 15 pitches, but he ran into trouble in the second, giving up a ground-rule double to right with a runner on first base which set Pittsburgh up with the second and third, one-out opportunity Josh VanMeter cashed in with a sac fly to center, 1-0.

Fedde worked around a leadoff single by Hoy Park in a 22-pitch third, and stranded a leadoff walk in a 23-pitch fourth, but he was up to 84 pitches overall at that point, and he returned to the mound in the fifth and got two outs before he gave up a line drive home run to right by Oneil Cruz, who hit a 3-1 cutter outside over the out-of-town scoreboard for a 2-0 lead.

A 408 ft shot. 110 MPH exit velocity. No. 1 for Cruz in 2022.

Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 100 P, 55 S, 4/5 GO/FO.


Miguel Yajure, 24, was acquired from New York’s Yankees, who signed him out of Venezuela back in 2015, along with three other prospects the Pittsburgh Pirates received in return for Jameson Taillon.

He faced the Nationals when Washington was in PNC Park in mid-April, a three-inning relief outing in which he gave up three hits, two walks, and three earned runs in a 7-2 win for the Nats.

Yajure was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the series opener for the Bucs in D.C., after he appeared in, “... four games (three starts) for Indianapolis this month,” going (1-1) in those outings, “with a 3.60 ERA (4 ER in 10.0 IP) with 6 strikeouts,” as the Pirates highlighted in their pregame notes for tonight’s game.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Pirates’ right-hander tossed two scoreless, relatively uneventful innings on 31 pitches, but got in a bit of trouble in the third, giving up back-to-back, two-out walks to both César Hernández and Juan Soto, and an infield single by Josh Bell, who beat a grounder over to first base that Josh VanMeter bobbled before tossing it to the covering pitch. Nelson Cruz stepped in with the bases loaded, after flying out to the top of the left field fence the first time up, but the 41-year-old, 18-year-old veteran grounded into a force at second.

Luis García singled to left to start the fourth, and Yadiel Hernández hit a ground-rule double over the left field wall with one out, giving the Nationals runners on second and third, but a Maikel Franco groundout to third got Yajure out No. 2, and Lane Thomas popped out to foul territory for out No. 3.

Miguel Yajure’s Line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 Ks, 65 P, 41 S, 6/2 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Yerry De Los Santos took over for the Pirates in the bottom of the fifth, with the visiting club up 2-0, and the right-hander worked around a two-out walk to Josh Bell for a quick scoreless frame.

Andres Machado was first out of the pen for the Nationals, taking over in the top of the sixth inning, and the righty worked around a two-out hit in a 14-pitch frame. Still 2-0.

Luis García doubled off the top of the out-of-town scoreboard to lead off the Nationals’ half of the sixth, and he moved to third on a grounder by Keibert Ruiz, and scored on a ground ball to second by Yadiel Hernández, 2-1 Pirates after six.

Carl Edwards, Jr. worked around a two-out single for a scoreless top of the seventh after the Nationals got on the board.

Juan Soto reached base on a grounder to second with two outs and Chris Stratton on the hill for the Pirates in the bottom of the seventh, and Josh Bell singled in the next AB, but a swinging K from Nelson Cruz ended the threat.

Edwards, Jr. tossed a scoreless eighth as well, to keep it a 2-1 game in the Pirates’ favor.

Luis García connected for his third leadoff hit and second leadoff double of the game off Stratton in the bottom of the eighth, and two outs later he scored on a rocket of a homer from Maikel Franco, who crushed a first-pitch slider from Stratton and hit one 418 feet to left field for a go-ahead blast, 3-2 Nationals.

Kyle Finnegan came on to end it, and the right-hander gave up a one-out double to right by Josh VanMeter on a fly ball to left that landed inside the line. Michael Chavis came on to run at second base, but Michael Perez flew out to left for out No. 2. Hoy Park? Fly to center. And ballgame.

Final Score: 3-2 Nats

Nationals now 28-48