The Nationals seemingly hadn’t gotten a break in weeks.
They seemingly hadn’t gotten a hit with a runner in scoring position in weeks, either.
They got both of those things in the first inning of today’s game, and both the breaks and the hits came in rapid-fire succession.
The Pirates made three errors in the first inning, two of which allowed runs to score.
Third baseman Pedro Alvarez dropped a throw when the Pirates had Bryce Harper caught in a rundown, allowing Harper to score the game’s first run. First baseman Gaby Sanchez had Denard Span caught between first and second but threw a ball into center field, allowing Ian Desmond to score. Second baseman Jordy Mercer booted an easy groundball off the bat of Kurt Suzuki.
It was a comedy of errors (literally) for the Pirates, and the Nats were happy to take advantage.
Steve Lombardozzi, Ryan Zimmerman, Desmond and Span all collected hits that inning, with both Zimmerman’s and Span’s coming with runners in scoring position.
The Nats had been 7-for-81 with runners in scoring position over their last 13 games entering today, but they’re already 2-for-4 in such situations through the first inning of today’s game.
They’re also up 4-0, which is their first lead since the sixth inning of Saturday’s game.
Just as a side note, the Nats had been 6-for-81 with runners in scoring position in their previous 13 games, but MLB changed a ruling from the July 10th game against the Phillies, giving Span a single on his ninth-inning at-bat instead of an error on the pitcher, as the play was previously ruled.
That accounts for the extra hit with runners in scoring position.