PITTSBURGH (AP) — Patrick Corbin gave Washington’s overworked bullpen a bit of a break, working seven strong innings as the Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Corbin (8-14) allowed two runs on four hits, striking out four with two walks to improve to 3-0 against the Pirates since joining Washington in 2019.
Lane Thomas hit a three-run homer in the fourth off Bryse Wilson (2-7) to put the Nationals in front to stay. Luis Garcia and Alex Avila also homered for Washington. Juan Soto doubled and tripled and is hitting .407 (22 of 54) over his last 16 games.
Pittsburgh fell to 0-13 when going for a series sweep and is the only team in Major League Baseball without a sweep with just three weeks left in the regular season.
Wilson fell to 0-4 with the Pirates since being acquired in a trade that sent closer Richard Rodriguez to Atlanta. His numbers since arriving in Pittsburgh were OK if not great — a 4.35 ERA in six starts — but he was undone by the long ball. Wilson had allowed four home runs in 31 innings with the Pirates but gave up three in just 4 1/3 innings against the Nationals.
Wilson appeared to be in good shape entering the top of the fourth and quickly retired the first two batters he faced. Avila, batting seventh, then drilled a long home run to the seats in right field. Adrian Sanchez followed with a double and moved to third on Corbin’s single to left.
Pirates pitching coach Oscar Marin came out to talk to Wilson. It didn’t work. Thomas turned on a 91 mph fastball over the heart of the plate and sent high over the 21-foot high Roberto Clemente Wall in right for his fourth home run of the season.
Kevin Newman’s leadoff triple in the third was Pittsburgh’s only extra-base hit. While Newman scored on Bryan Reynolds’ sacrifice fly to put the Pirates up 2-1, Corbin shut the door from there. The 32-year-old, in the midst of a forgettable season, retired the final 13 batters he faced.
Nationals: Return home to begin a three-game set against Miami on Monday. Washington has won 8 of 13 meetings with the Marlins this season.
Pirates: Are off Monday before starting a three-game series against Cincinnati on Tuesday. Dillon Peters (0-2, 3.38) faces Wade Miley (12-5, 2.89) in the opener.