A.J. Burnett, Pirates shut down Nationals in series opener

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Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including a home run, for Pittsburgh. Leadoff man Starling Marte and Gaby Sanchez added two hits apiece.

Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless eighth and Jason Grilli shut out the Nationals in the ninth for his 12th save in as many chances.

Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche went 2 for 3 to equal the number of hits he had in his previous 11 games and 38 at-bats.

McCutchen hit a solo shot off Detwiler in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. The center fielder has 10 home runs against Washington in 24 games.

“It’s kind of weird, but it was the same exact pitch on both home runs and it’s what ended up beating me,” Detwiler said. “I tried to get a fastball to the outside corner and they both cut back over the plate and their guys hit them, which is what they’re supposed to do and what they get paid for.”

The Nationals tied it in the fourth on Danny Espinosa’s RBI single. It was just the second hit in the last 23 at-bats for the second baseman.

Nationals hitters struck out 14 times as Melancon had two and Grilli had three.

“We’ve got good hitters but we’re striking out more than we should,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “I don’t know if it’s being aggressive early in the count or not, but I do feel we’re trying too hard to make things happen. Everyone just needs to relax a little bit.”

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