Difo goes yard, Harper hits 3-run HR (Nats defeat Pirates 12-4)

The Nationals get on the board first on a home run from an unlikely source.

Difo-Swings-Gray-Sidebar.jpgThird baseman Wilmer Difo, batting out of the No. 9 hole, crushed a Chad Kuhl pitch over the right-center field wall in the bottom of the third. It was Difo's first home run since August 30, 2017, against Miami.

Trea Turner reached on a fielding error by third baseman Colin Moran. But for the first time this season, Turner was caught stealing on a throw from catcher Francisco Cervelli to shortstop Jordy Mercer at second base.

Right-hander Max Scherzer allowed just one double and no runs with three strikeouts through the first three innings.

Through three innings, the Nats lead the Pirates 1-0.

Update: Matt Adams smacked a solo shot himself to lead off the fourth. The Nats have two hits, both are home runs.

After four innings, the Nats lead the Pirates 2-0.

Update II: Bryce Harper crushed a three-run shot in the fifth, his first homer since April 16 and his ninth homer of the season. Adams hit his second homer of the game, he has five homers on the season.

Kuhl finished 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (four earned runs) on four hits (all homers) with two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 83 pitches, 53 for strikes.

After five innings, the Nats lead the Pirates 6-0.

Trea-Turner-swing-white-sidebar.jpgUpdate III: The Nats put the game away in the sixth inning with six more runs. The big hit was a three-run double from Turner. Scherzer, Adams and Ryan Zimmerman each added RBI singles.

After six innings, the Nats lead 12-0.

Update IV: Corey Dickerson slapped a two-run shot in the seventh, his second homer in the series. Scherzer finished 6 1/3 frames, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. He fired 106 pitches, 71 for strikes. Wander Suero made his major league debut, allowing two hits, but then recording two outs to retire the side.

Mid-seventh, the Nats lead the Pirates 12-2.

Update V: Sammy Solís pitched a scoreless eight, allowing one hit with two strikeouts.

Carlos Torres pitched the ninth for the Nats. Elias Díaz was caught looking. Colin Moran doubled. Jordy Mercer flew out to left field. Max Moroff hit a two-run shot to right field, his first homer of the season. Adam Frazier was walked and pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez popped out to center field to end the game.

Final Score: the Nats 12, the Pirates 4.

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