Kyle Schwarber homered again to snap a seventh-inning tie and drove in two runs for the Washington Nationals in their 3-2 triumph over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
Jon Lester pitched 5 1/3 solid innings to help the Nationals win for the third time in four matches.
Schwarber’s homer was his fourth in three days. The Nationals moved him to the leadoff spot Saturday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader. He led off that game with a home run, hit two more on Sunday and launched the go-ahead shot this time against reliever Clay Holmes (2-2).
Schwarber also had an RBI single in the third and walked. His lone out was a line drive caught by leaping second baseman Adam Frazier in the first inning.
Lester made it into the sixth for just the fourth time in nine starts this season. He allowed a leadoff double, then got a line-drive out before being removed. The 37-year-old left-hander is averaging 4 2/3 innings per start this year.Wander Suero replaced him and allowed a soft single and Erik Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly that tied it at 2.
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Kyle Finnegan (3-2) struck out two in a hitless inning for the win. Brad Hand pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save in 14 tries.
Schwarber pushed Victor Robles home with his single in the third. Juan Soto’s single drove in Trea Turner to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead later in the inning.
Kevin Newman started the scoring with his second homer of the season to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the second.
Pittsburgh starter JT Brubaker permitted two runs and four hits in five innings.
Washington ace Max Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive committee and one of just two association player representatives. So, when he speaks on a broad topic, his words carry weight beyond his Hall of Fame pitching résumé.
He was asked Monday about Major League Baseball’s expected crackdown on pitchers using the “sticky stuff” to improve their grip, and, at times, spin rates, when throwing the baseball.
“There’s solutions to all of us and how we go forward with this and what should be the rules of what the practice should be,” Scherzer stated.
“And specifically, what hitters want. I think that’s the biggest question: What do hitters want? We’ve heard from a lot of hitters. All the hitters that talk publicly, they want the pitchers to have a tack over the baseball, a grip over the baseball. So what that looks like, that’s a conversation we’ll have.”
Scherzer also mentioned he knew as much about baseball’s prospective enforcement as reporters did, meaning MLB is not communicating with the union about it.
“Whatever’s been written is what we know,” Scherzer said. “There hasn’t been additional information other than that.”
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