The Pirates pulled off a rare feat in the first inning, connecting on three hits for two early runs against right-hander Max Scherzer. In his first three starts, Scherzer had allowed two or fewer earned runs in two of those games.
Josh Bell had an RBI double and Colin Moran dropped in a run-scoring single.
The Nationals quickly got on the board in the bottom of the first against right-hander Jameson Taillon. Adam Eaton led off with a single and stole second base. Howie Kendrick continued his hot start with a run-scoring double that bounced off the center field wall to score Eaton.
Pittsburgh went three-up, three-down in the second inning. Taillon also got the Nats in the bottom of the second, highlighted by a pair of strikeouts.
The Pirates scored again in a similar fashion versus Scherzer in the third. Adam Frazier walked and took second on a groundout. Bell laced a double down the right field line to score Frazier. Moran singled to center field, but Michael A. Taylor fired a laser beam to Yan Gomes, who tagged out Bell at the plate.
The Nationals plated two in the bottom of the third. Eaton walked and Kendrick singled. Anthony Rendon’s groundout to third scored Eaton and Juan Soto contributed an RBI single through shortstop to tie the game.
After three innings, the Nats and the Pirates are tied 3-3.
Update: Scherzer got through seven innings so far, allowing only three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Taillon allowed at least one base hit in every inning but the second frame, but Nats have been stuck at three runs since the third frame.
Mid-seventh, the game is even at 3-3.
Update II: Scherzer finished eight innings, scattered seven hits, allowed three runs, all earned, walked one and struck out seven on 98 pitches, 71 for strikes.
After eight innings, the Nats and the Pirates are tied 3-3.
Update III: In the ninth, Jason Martin’s ground-rule double off of Nats reliever Wander Suero scored Bell for the go-ahead run. The Pirates regained the lead at 4-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Victor Robles singled versus Pirates reliever Felipe Vázquez. With one out, Taylor walked. Eaton bunted for a base hit towards third base, loading the bases for Kendrick with one out. Vázquez struck out Kendrick looking with a 98 mph fastball. Rendon flew out to center field to end the game.
Final score: Pirates 4, Nats 3.