Paul Maholm shut down the Nationals offense before a tiny crowd Monday night at PNC Park, as the Pirates won 4-2. A Penguins playoff game and the fact that this game wasn't originally on the schedule (it was a makeup game after a postponement on Friday) kept the fans away, and a rain delay in-game probably didn't help either, but the Pirates won anyway.
Maholm racked up eight strikeouts, and he and Evan Meek combined to record outs against 16 straight batters. (Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless ninth.) Maholm gave up two runs on a single by Adam LaRoche in the first inning, but otherwise, the Nationals could do virtually nothing against him.
The Bucs didn’t do much offensively, either, but had good timing, as three of their six hits (plus two walks) came in the fourth inning, when they scored all four of their runs off John Lannan. Brandon Wood, making his Pirates debut, keyed the inning with a two-run double to right-center.
The Pirates are now 10-12 after taking two of three from the Nationals. They will begin a three-game series against the defending champion San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, with Charlie Morton, James McDonald and Jeff Karstens starting.