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Joshua Palacios helps Pirates sink Nats

Sep 12, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Joshua Palacios (54) receives high-fives in the dugout after hitting a two run home run against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Joshua Palacios hit a two-run homer to help the Pittsburgh Pirates top the visiting Washington Nationals 5-1 on Tuesday.

Miguel Andujar added an RBI single, Bryan Reynolds had a run-scoring groundout and Ke’Bryan Hayes chipped in with a sacrifice fly for the Pirates (67-78), who had lost two games in a row and three of their last four.

Pittsburgh starter Bailey Falter (2-8) gave up one run and four hits in six innings, with four strikeouts and one walk.

Ildemaro Vargas hit an RBI single for the Nationals (65-80), who have lost two of their last three games.

Washington starter Joan Adon (2-2) pitched four-plus innings, allowing four runs and eight hits, with four strikeouts and six walks.

Endy Rodriguez led off the Pirates’ half of the second with a walk. Palacios then launched his eighth homer of the season for a 2-0 lead.

With one out in the fourth, Reynolds made a highlight-reel catch in left to rob Lane Thomas of a hit, running toward the wall and extending his arm as he reached the warning track to snag the deep liner.

But Keibert Ruiz reached on an infield single and went to third on Joey Meneses’ ground-rule double to left. Vargas drove in Ruiz with a single to cut Washington’s deficit to 2-1.

Rodriguez opened the bottom of the fifth with a double to the corner in right and went to third on Palacios’ single. Andujar drove in Rodriguez with a single to center to up Pittsburgh’s lead to 3-1.

That chased Adon for Robert Garcia. Palacios and Andujar pulled off a double steal, and Alika Williams walked to load the bases. Ji Hwan Bae hit into a forceout, with Palacios getting thrown out at home. Reynolds’ groundout brought Andujar in to make it 4-1.

The Pirates added one run in the seventh against Amos Willingham. With one out, Williams singled and went to third on Bae’s ground-rule double. Reynolds was intentionally walked to load the bases before Williams scored on Hayes’ sacrifice fly that capped the scoring.

–Field Level Media