The Pirates had one hit through eight innings, on their way to a 1-0 loss despite a very good season-ending outing from Jameson Taillon.
Then the Pirates got a couple runners on against Brandon Kintzler, Sean Rodriguez hit a full-count, two-out single to tie the score at 1 and Max Moroff whacked a three-run triple to center field and the Pirates got away with a 4-1 win over the Nationals on Saturday night.
Marte led off the ninth with a slow bouncer to shortstop Trea Turner. He was originally called out at first, but that was overturned upon review. Josh Bell flied out to center, Jordan Luplow singled to right and Gregory Polanco flied out to left, leaving the Bucs down to their last out with runners on first and second.
Kintzler fell behind Rodriguez 3-0, but Rodriguez fouled the next two pitches off. He lined the 3-2 pitch into left, scoring Marte from second. Elias Diaz walked, loading the bases for Moroff, who sent the first pitch he saw over Michael Taylor’s head in center, clearing the bases for a 4-1 Pirates lead.
Felipe Rivero — he used to play for the Nationals, you know — needed just nine pitches, most of them rather nasty, in a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth.
Andrew McCutchen was scratched from the starting lineup with a barking left foot. He fouled a ball off of it Friday night. The revised Pirates lineup went out and got one hit — a Moroff single in the third — off of Max Scherzer, A.J. Cole and Enny Romero over eight innings.
Scherzer was excellent, striking out five and walking one, before giving the Nationals a bit of a scare and getting removed from the game with one out in the fourth. The Nats said after the game it was a right-hamstring cramp and he was taken out as a precaution.
Cole was quite good in relief, throwing 3 2-3 hitless innings with two strikeouts and two walks.
Taillon concluded his challenging 2017 with five strikeouts, a walk and four hits in seven innings. He exited with the Pirates trailing 1-0.
Daniel Murphy singled to open the bottom of the second, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s single to center for what was the game’s only run for most of the night.
Taillon and George Kontos, who pitched a clean eighth, kept things close enough that the Pirates’ baserunners represented some threat. Moroff walked to lead off the sixth, and moved to third on a bunt and a groundout, but there was no hit to give him the final 90 feet. Bell led off the seventh with a walk, but nothing came of that, and Moroff again walked in the eighth, to no avail.
Moroff ended up reaching base in all four plate appearances, finishing 2-for-2 with two walks.
Zimmerman was 2-for-2, representing half of the Nationals’ hits in the game.
After a fun little game, the Pirates will close their 2017 season with a 3:05 p.m. start on Sunday. Steven Brault will face Gio Gonzalez.