Michael Morse hits his first homer; Nationals lead Pirates 4-1

PITTSBURGH - All season, the Nationals have been waiting for Michael Morse to break out at the plate, patiently riding out his early-season slump and hoping he’d get back to the opposite-field hitting and steady power he showed last season and into the spring.

He might finally be on his way to doing that.

Morse hit his first homer of the year in the third inning of today’s game, ripping a middle-in fastball from Kevin Correia to left for a three-run shot. He also poked a single down the first-base line in the second inning, and is 9-for-23 in his last seven games.

I’ve been saying it all year, but if this lineup is going to work for the Nationals, Morse has to put up solid numbers. It’s safe to say the Nationals didn’t expect to be waiting until April 24 for him to hit his first homer. But he’s shown an ability to carry a hot streak for a few days, so maybe he’ll hit a couple in the next week or so.