PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates rudely greeted Washington Nationals starter Jackson Rutledge in his big league debut by sending nine men to the plate and scoring four runs against him in the first inning.
Bryan Reynolds ensured the early lead stayed true for the Pirates in their 7-6 victory over the Nationals on Wednesday night at PNC Park.
After the Nationals (65-81) scored a run in the top of the first off of opener Colin Selby, Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled home a run and Jack Suwinski, Joshua Palacios and Liover Peguero all recorded RBI singles.
Two innings later, the Pirates (68-78) added on another run on an Alfonso Rivas double into the right field corner. Rivas was thrown out attempting to advance to third base.
In the fourth inning, Reynolds connected on a two-run home run high off of the right field foul pole for his third hit of the game. His 21st homer of the season put the Pirates ahead 7-1. Reynolds finished the game with three hits on his leger.
In his first game back with the Pirates, Quinn Priester looked good for much of his outing, but he began to unravel late.
In the fifth, he allowed a solo home run to Drew Millas, the first long ball of Millas’ career. Washington scored three more off of Priester in the sixth, two coming on one swing from Dominic Smith after a two-run homer over the Clemente Wall in right.
In the ninth inning, the Nationals had already scored a run and had the tying run on second with nobody out and again on third with one out. David Bednar was able to retire the final two batters to preserve the win.
Star of the Game
Reynolds had his second three-hit performance in his last five games played and helped carry the Pirates to the win.
Stat to Know
- This marked the first time since 2019 that the Pirates have had 6+ hits in the first inning of a game. The six hits are also tied for the most the Pirates have had in any game in an inning this year (happened twice before)
- Rutledge (17th overall) and Priester (18th) were selected with back-to-back picks in the 2019 MLB Draft.
- Ji Hwan Bae extended his current hitting streak to eight games with a leadoff single in the first. Suwinski has a six-game hitting streak after his RBI knock.
- Reynolds, Palacios and Peguero all turned in multi-hit performances.
- Priester was recalled from the taxi squad prior to the game and Cody Bolton was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
- It was Duquesne University night at PNC Park tonight, the alma mater of yours truly. I felt obligated to point that out. Carry on.
The Pirates and Nats will conclude their four-game series on Friday afternoon. Mitch Keller (11-9, 4.23 ERA) will get the ball for the Pirates. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Josiah Gray (7-11, 4.13 ERA). First pitch: 12:35.