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John Lannan, Nationals Crush Pirates

Sports Network | September 4, 2010

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run homer and knocked in four as the Washington Nationals thumped Pittsburgh, 9-2, in the second of three games from PNC Park.

John Lannan (7-6) struck out seven in seven strong innings, walked one and allowed a run on five hits for the Nationals, who broke a three-game losing streak. Ian Desmond added three hits and an RBI to the win.

Paul Maholm’s (7-14) troubles continued, as the southpaw slid to a fifth loss in six starts after surrendering eight hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 frames.

Andrew McCutchen’s 13th home run of the season highlighted the Pirates’ offense on the way to their sixth loss in the last eight games.

The game was scoreless until Washington broke out in the fourth for five runs. The bases were loaded right out of the shoot on a pair of singles and a walk and Rodriguez chased in two with a base hit to right-center.

An error left men at second and third for Danny Espinosa, who drove in another with a single and Justin Maxwell added a fourth run with a sacrifice fly. Nyjer Morgan later scored Espinosa with a single.

Mike Morse led off the fifth with a base hit and scored on Rodriguez’s two-run shot to left two batters later that ended Maholm’s time on the hill.

McCutchen belted out a solo home run for a 7-1 game after five innings.

It was all Washington the rest of the way as Desmond doubled in Lannan in the sixth, then Morse tagged Chan Ho Park with an RBI single to plate Desmond in the eighth.

The Nats’ starter gave way to Doug Slaten in the home eighth and Ronny Cedeno managed a two-out run-scoring double. Joel Peralta finished out the win with a scoreless ninth.

Washington swept a three-game set from the Pirates back in June and had won five in a row in the series prior to Friday’s setback…Maholm fell to 0-4 in seven all-time meetings with the Nationals…Lannan picked up his first career defeat of the Pirates in six attempts…Rodriguez had three hits and scored twice. It was his third home run of the season…Lastings Milledge had three hits for Pittsburgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.