Nations knock around Pirates
The Nationals are on a hot streak at the plate that defies explanation.
“If anyone knew the answer to that, they could write a book and make millions of dollars,” Adam Eaton said.
The onslaught continued Monday night when Asdrubal Cabrera hit the last of Washington’s four home runs and drove in five runs, and three relievers combined for 62/3 innings of one-hit ball as the Nationals thumped the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-0.
Eaton, Matt Adams and Trea Turner also connected for the Nationals, who have scored 79 runs in their last eight games while going 7-1. They’ve scored 43 times in their past three, including a 15-14 loss.
Adams added two doubles and had four RBIs. Juan Soto had four of Washington’s 15 hits and walked, reaching base in all five plate appearances.
The Nationals scored at least 13 runs in the four of their last five games.
Javy Guerra (2-1) pitched 32/3 perfect innings in relief of Joe Ross, who departed in the fourth inning. Ross was hit in the left shin by a one-hopper from Josh Bell.
“How about the job Javy did?” Martinez said. “He really saved us from having to go deep into our bullpen.”
Kyle McGowin and Tanner Rainey finished the four-hitter with one inning each for Washington’s 11th shutout of the season.
The Nationals scored four runs off Trevor Williams (5-6) in each of the first two innings.
Williams was removed after the second and was charged with eight runs — six earned — while giving up six hits and three walks. Pittsburgh fell to 7-28 since the All-Star break.
“It’s a really tough stretch right now,” Williams said. “Hopefully, tonight is the bottom. I look forward to coming to the field tomorrow. Being a pitcher, you have to have a short-term memory.”
The Nationals moved within five games of first-place Atlanta in the NL East and continue to lead the wild-card standings.
Eaton homered with one out in the first and Adams added a two-run blast following a sacrifice fly by Cabrera.
Turner’s three-run homer highlighted the second, which included an RBI double by Adams.
Cabrera hit a two-run double in the fifth and scored on Adams’ double as the Nationals ran the lead to 11-0. He added a two-run homer in the ninth.
Bell’s single off Ross’ knee in the fourth gave the Pirates runners at first and third with one out. However, Guerra got Colin Moran to hit into a double play.
Pirates: C Elias Diaz was removed after the fourth inning as a precaution after being struck in the facemask by a foul tip.
Strasburg (15-5, 3.82 ERA) will face RHP Chris Archer (3-9, 5.23) on Tuesday night. Strasburg is 8-1 with a 3.92 ERA in his last 10 starts. Archer has not won in 12 starts since June 6, going 0-4 with a 5.26 ERA.