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Pirates 4, Nationals 2: Paul Maholm Shuts Down Nats

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Paul Maholm posted a pretty excellent-looking line (seven innings, two runs, eight strikeouts) and Brandon Wood hit a two-run double in his Pirates debut as the Bucs knocked off the Nats, 4-2. The Nats scored both their runs in the top of the first on a two-run single by Adam LaRoche, but after that, Maholm, Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan shut the Nationals down almost completely. Maholm and Meek recorded 16 straight outs at one point.

The Pirates didn't get much offense going, only posting six hits themselves, but fortunately for them, three of those (plus two walks) came in the fourth, when they scored all their runs. Wood's double to the gap in right center did most of the damage.

Incidentally, I was at a rehearsal in Steubenville for most of this one, although I caught the last several innings on the radio on the drive home. It was creepy. At first I thought they had forgotten to turn the crowd mics on, but no - there was just nobody there, and so the little natural gaps between bits of the announcers' speech felt like giant voids.