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Pirates Vs. Nationals Recap: Bucs Win Season Series With The Long Ball

The Pittsburgh Pirates took the season series against NL East-leading Washington on Thursday night with a 5-3 win at Nationals Park. James McDonald was magnificent and the offense came through with the long ball against the typically tough Jordan Zimmermann. McDonald had a no-hitter and 10 strikeouts through the first five innings, before hitting a bit of a rough patch in the sixth. During the third time through the order, the Nats got around on some balls and had some well-placed hits to string together a three-run rally. McDonald's night ended there, with 11 Ks and 1 walk through 5.2 innings pitched.

The offense struck early with plenty of power, led by Andrew McCutchen, who opened the game in the first inning by taking Zimmermann the other way into the Nats' bullpen in right. He hit another solo homer to left in the sixth inning, putting the Bucs ahead 4-0, which was all they would need. Sandwiched in between the McCutchen bombs was a two-run homer by Rod Barajas. It was his third dinger in the last nine days.

The Pirates now head to Detroit as interleague play begins this weekend with a series against the Tigers.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Nats, there's Federal Baseball. For more on baseball and the MLB in general, visit SB Nation's dedicated MLB hub Baseball Nation.

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