The Pittsburgh Pirates (20-9) dropped game three against the Washington Nationals (10-17) in a 7-2 loss after Johan Oviedo (2-2, 4.78 ERA) didn’t make it out of the third inning.
Oviedo managed to get the first two outs of the game, but after that, he labored throughout his start and reached a pitch count of 64 in 2.1 innings pitched.
In each inning during Oviedo’s outing, he gave up a minimum of two runs as well as giving up four hits over 100 mph in exit velocity, with the highest EV occurring in the second inning against Luis Garcia at 109.3 mph.
This marks two straight starts. Oviedo hasn’t had his best stuff, and his final line read as such against the Nationals. The righty’s final line read 2.1 innings pitched, nine hits, seven earned runs, two walks, and one strikeout.
Oviedo’s ERA has now gone from 3.03 entering the day to 4.78.
The Nationals got the scoring party started in the first inning with a two-out Jeimer Candelario 108.2 mph two RBI double scoring Keibert Ruiz and Joey Meneses.
The Nationals led 2-0.
The very next inning, Garcia doubled the Nationals’ lead with a two-out single to right field, scoring Lane Thomas and Victor Robles, giving the Nationals a 4-0 lead.
Meneses added to the RBI party in the second inning with a single to center field, which plated Ruiz and gave the Nationals a 5-0 lead.
The final nail in the Pirates’ coffin occurred in the third inning when Victor Robles hit a one-out, two RBI double, scoring CJ Abrams and Dominic Smith.
The Nationals led 7-1.
The Pirates at least avoided the shutout against Josiah Gray (2-4, 2.67 ERA).
In the third inning, Bryan Reynolds hit a two-out single to right field, scoring Ji-Hwan Bae, who had stolen second base and then advanced to third on a groundout prior to Reynolds AB.
The Pirates trailed 5-1.
In addition, Bryan Reynolds has now recorded an RBI in six straight games.
During this March/April run, the Pirates have now stolen 41 bases with Carlos Santana and Bae’s swiped bags. The last time the Pirates stole 41+ bases in a month, and change was in 1985 during Sept/Oct.
One of the few positives for the Pirates on Sunday afternoon was the performance of Rule-5 pick Jose Hernandez’s performance.
In two full innings pitched, Hernandez allowed no runs on two hits, walked none, and struck out two. Hernandez averaged 98.3 mph on his four-seam and used his slider just as much as his four-seam at 32%.
The Pirates bullpen on the afternoon went a combined 5.2 innings pitched, gave up six hits, no earned runs, walked two, and struck out four.
In the ninth inning, the Pirates tried to make it competitive.
Connor Joe hit a one-out double, setting the table for Tucupita Marcano. In a 1-2 count, Marcano singled on a low sinker to center field, scoring Joe.
The Pirates trailed 7-2.
On the offensive side of things, the Pirates managed only six hits, with Reynolds leading the way going 2-4 with a double and an RBI.
The Pirates have an off day on Monday but will gear up for their biggest test of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday as they face them in a three-game series before heading back home.