Johan Oviedo only managed 2.1 innings before getting the hook in DC, a rare sight over the last few weeks for Pittsburgh. Before his departure, the Nationals managed seven runs on nine hits, his ERA climbing to 4.78 on the year. The bullpen would turn in 5.2 innings of scoreless work, but by then it seemed too late.
After Jeimer Candelario broke open the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run double, Washington would push across three more in the second inning, thanks to a pair of singles from Luis Garcia and Joey Meneses.
The Pirates best opportunity came in the top of the third inning when the Bucs threatened to bring the game even. After Bryan Reynolds drove in a run with a nice at bat that yielded an RBI single, the Pirates loaded the bases after a pair of walks. Jack Suwinski laced a ball towards the first baseman Dominic Smith — a hit that registered 104.6 miles per hour, according to Statcast — but the play was made when Smith flipped the ball to a covering Josiah Gray, who narrowly beat out a hustling Suwinski to end the threat and strand three runners.
The Rule 5 pick Jose Hernandez turned in another scoreless outing, tossing two innings for the Pirates, striking out a pair, and pushing his ERA down to 0.77 on the season.
The Nationals’ Gray got the win (2-4) after giving Washington six innings, allowing only one run on three hits, while striking out six. The loss fell to Oviedo (2-2).
The Pirates return to action Tuesday to face the team with the most wins in baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays. That three game set has a 6:40 first pitch for game one in Tampa Bay. The starters are yet to be announced.