Pirates beat Nationals 6-5, but lose Jason Grilli

Patrick McDermott

Andrew McCutchen's pair of homers led the Pirates to a 6-5 win over the Nationals Monday, even as they lost Jason Grilli to forearm discomfort. Grilli departed with two outs in the ninth. Mark Melancon will obviously fill in for Grilli for however long he needs to be out, and there's no reason to think Melancon won't do well, but the rest of the bullpen should suffer as a result.

Jordy Mercer walked in the first, and McCutchen brought him home with a blast to right-center. Then in the third, Starling Marte got hit by a pitch, and McCutchen brought him home with a shot to center.

The Bucs kept going in the fourth as Russell Martin singled, Garrett Jones doubled, and Gaby Sanchez brought home Martin with a groundout.

From there, the Nats crawled back into the game. Adam LaRoche hit a solo homer to lead off the fifth. Then, LaRoche led off the seventh, and came home on a two-run shot by Jayson Werth. The Bucs grabbed an insurance run on a wild pitch in the eighth, which turned out to be a good thing, because Werth hit another two-run shot, this time off Grilli, in the ninth. Grilli struck out two of the next three batters he faced, but gave up a double to Denard Span in between them. Vin Mazzaro replaced Grilli and got Steve Lombardozzi to ground out and strand the tying run.

Losing Grilli for a significant period of time would, clearly, be unfortunate for the Pirates, but Bucs fans can take comfort in three things. First, if this turns out to be a significant injury, at least it happened before the trade deadline and not after, because relievers generally aren't that costly to acquire at the deadline. Second, the Pirates have a bunch of good minor-league relief depth. And third, Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the season.

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