The Nationals recorded their first series sweep, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 behind Livo and a first major league save by Tyler Clippard. Livo pitched 6 innings allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits. After that, the ball went to former Pirate Sean Burnett who pitched 2 scoreless innings, scattering just 2 hits. Burnett lowered his ERA to 3.15. With an unavailable Matt Capps, Tyler Clippard pitched an excellent ninth inning to earn his first major league save. Clippard recorded two strikeouts int he 9th.
Offensively, once again, number 4 and 5 provided the power. Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham homered back to back in the 4th inning to put the Nationals up 2-0 It was homer number 13 for Dunn and 12 for Willingham, as the home run lead chase continues. Dunn has now homered in three consecutive games. Dunn also scored in the 5th inning on a Adam LaRoache fielding error to put the Nationals up 3-0.
Give it up for the middle of the lineup, they have been on fire during this series. Ryan Zimmerman, Dunn, and Willingham combined have hit .454 (15-33) with 7 home runs and 9 RBI during this series.
Pirates would score 2 in the 6th inning to pull within 1 runa nd chase Hernandez from the game.
But a bigger story was an opportunity for Mike Morse to get a start. Morse responded by going 3 for 3 with a home run that gave the Nationals the comfortable 2 run lead late. Morse is hitting .417, racking out 10 hits in 24 at bats this season.
The Nationals pull to within 1 game of .500 with their first series sweep of the season, improving 30-31 and remain just 5.5 games out of first.