You'd think the Nationals caught a break when Pirates starter Erik Bedard, who entered the game with a 2.65 ERA, was pulled after just an inning-plus due to a back injury. That left the Nats eight innings to battle against Pittsburgh's bullpen. You'd think the Nats would have a decent shot at tying the game when they loaded the bases with just one out in the eighth, trailing 3-2. You'd think that if a Washington starter (Ross Detwiler, for example) allowed three runs in six innings - a quality start - he'd have a good chance of earning a win. You'd think wrong on all accounts. The Nationals lost 4-2 to the Pirates tonight, managing just five hits and dropping their third straight game. Washington could've knotted the game in the eighth when they had the tying run at third and just one out, but Danny Espinosa and Rick Ankiel both struck out to end the frame. Trailing 4-2 in the ninth after Andrew McCutchen homered in the bottom of the eighth off Craig Stammen, the Nats then had runners at second and third with one out. Bryce Harper popped up and Ryan Zimmerman struck out to end the game, however. The Nats struck out 11 times on the night, a problem which keeps occurring.