Liriano, Pirates fall to Nationals 5-2

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - Francisco Liriano is getting frustrated.

The left-hander lost again Sunday as Ian Desmond hit a pair of run-scoring singles to lead Washington to a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, snapping the Nationals‘ four-game losing streak.

Liriano (0-5) is winless in 14 consecutive regular-season starts, dating to last Sept. 10 when he won at Texas. He gave up four runs, six hits and four walks in five innings while striking out five.

“I’m not doing my job at all,” Liriano said. “I’m not going deep into games and I’m not keeping the team in the ballgame.”

The Nationals jumped on Liriano for two runs in the first inning. Denard Span led off with a double and later scored on a wild pitch. Desmond followed with his first RBI single.

Washington doubled its lead to 4-0 in the fifth when Anthony Rendon hit a run-scoring triple and scored on another wild pitch by Liriano, who won 16 games last season.

“I was just missing pitches and not doing my job, I think,” Liriano said. “With men on base, I was trying to overthrow most of the time.”

Desmond came through with runners in scoring position for the Nationals.

Washington was 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position. That might not seem like a lot, but it felt like plenty for the Nationals and their struggling offense.

The Nationals had gone 2 for 27 with runners in scoring position during their skid.

“Base hits with runners in scoring position, that’s how you win ballgames,” Washington manager Matt Williams said.

Desmond got it done twice.

In addition to his hit in the first inning, Desmond made it 5-1 when his second single in the seventh, helping end the Pirates‘ four-game winning streak.

Span and Jayson Werth also had two hits for the Nationals, who scored just seven runs during their skid.

“It’s nice to get some big hits,” Rendon said. “We haven’t had many lately, but we’ve tried to stay on an even keel the best we could and we finally got some clutch hits today.”

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