Gray throws 6 strong innings, Nationals beat Pirates 7-2

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Josiah Gray pitched six strong innings, Joey Meneses had four hits and the Washington Nationals finally cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 in a game delayed nearly 2 1/2 hours by rain Sunday.

Jeimer Candelario and Victor Robles each had an early two-run double for Washington, which had lost three straight. Luis García delivered a two-run single in the second, and every Nationals starter got at least one hit.

Bryan Reynolds and Tucupita Marcano each had two hits and an RBI for the surprising Pirates, who had won four straight and 11 of 12. Pittsburgh finished April with a 21-8 record.

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Gray (2-4) allowed one run on three hits and three walks while striking out six. He retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced. Over his last five starts, the right-hander is 2-2 with a 1.57 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings.

Andrés Machado worked two scoreless innings for Washington, and Kyle Finnegan allowed a run in the ninth.

Pirates starter Johan Oviedo (2-2) gave up seven runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings.

The first pitch was pushed back 2 hours, 26 minutes. But after being swept in a doubleheader Saturday, including a 16-1 loss in the nightcap, the Nationals struck quickly.

Candelario’s two-run double gave Washington the lead in the first. García's two-run single highlighted a three-run second, and Robles made it 7-1 with his two-run double in the third.


Pirates: C Tyler Heineman, designated for assignment Wednesday, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for INF Vinny Capra. The 26-year-old Capra was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. … INF Drew Maggi was sent back to Double-A Altoona.

Nationals: The team selected Machado's contract from Triple-A Rochester, and LHP Anthony Banda was designated for assignment. Banda had a 6.43 ERA in 10 games with Washington. Machado had a 2.92 ERA and two saves in 10 outings with Rochester.


Pirates: RHP Roansy Contreras (3-1, 3.58 ERA) starts when Pittsburgh begins a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. He has allowed three runs in 18 2/3 innings over his last three starts.

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-1, 3.00) starts the opener of a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Monday. Gore struck out 10 batters in six innings of a win over the Mets last time out.


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