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Apr 1, 2024 7:44 pm

Pirates defeat Nats, off to 5-0 start for first time since ’83

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Bryan Reynolds collected two hits and drove in three runs, helping lead the undefeated Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-4 win over the host Washington Nationals on Monday.

Michael Taylor went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs and Connor Joe added two hits and pair of RBIs for the Pirates, who are 5-0 to start the season for the first time since 1983.

After a scoreless first inning, Pittsburgh’s Henry Davis led off the second with a double and eventually scored on Taylor’s sacrifice fly, giving Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

Alika Williams’ single advanced Oneil Cruz to second before Washington starter MacKenzie Gore hit Joe with a pitch to load the bases with one out.

Reynolds followed with an RBI groundout to third base, doubling the Pittsburgh advantage.

In the bottom of the third, Lane Thomas drove in Victor Robles with a single to right field for the first Washington run.

Davis led off the sixth with a double, then Gore struck out Cruz and was replaced by Derek Law. Gore pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and three runs while walking a pair and striking out six.

With two outs and runners on first and third, Joe drove in a run on another infield single, scoring Davis for a 3-1 Pittsburgh lead.

Leading off the bottom of the inning, Abrams singled and Thomas walked, chasing Pittsburgh starter Marco Gonzales, who allowed one earned run on four hits in five-plus innings.

Roansy Contreras (1-0) took over, striking out Joey Meneses, getting Keibert Ruiz to ground out and striking out Eddie Rosario to escape the sixth.

With Contreras pitching in the seventh, Ildemaro Vargas singled and Riley Adams launched a 427-foot home run, tying the game at 3-3.

Taylor began the top of the eighth with a single off Robert Garcia (0-1) and moved to third on Williams’ sacrifice bunt. Matt Barnes came in and gave up a go-ahead double to Joe. With two outs, Hayes hit an RBI double and Andrew McCutchen added a run-scoring single, giving Pittsburgh a 6-3 lead.

Reynolds’ ninth-inning double drove in a pair of runs, capping the Pirates’ scoring.

In the bottom of the ninth, Abrams drove in a run with a two-out single but Aroldis Chapman came on to retire Thomas and earn his first save of the season.

–Field Level Media

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