- - Monday, August 19, 2019

PITTSBURGH — The location changed, but the red-hot hitting stayed the same Monday for the Washington Nationals.

After hitting a team-tying eight homers at Nationals Park on Sunday, Washington hit three homers and scored 11 runs Monday in just the first three innings here at PNC Park.

That was more than enough to post a 13-0 victory over the slumping Pirates, who have lost 18 of their last 25 games. The win brought smiles from Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long, who took a lot of flack in his first year with the team in 2018.

The Nationals have scored 43 runs in their last three games — the most of any team in the major leagues this season. Washington has 16 homers in its last three games to set a Montreal/Washington franchise record. Washington has scored 72 runs in the last seven games, winning all but one.

Washington (68-56) is now a season-high 12 games above .500 and five games back of first-place Atlanta in the National League East. The Nationals lead the National League wild card race.

In the first inning, Adam Eaton hit a solo homer and Matt Adams added a two-run shot later in the frame. Trea Turner hit a three-run blast in the second. Turner got a rare break when Adrian Sanchez, just up from the minor leagues, took over at short in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Adams tied a career-high with his 20th homer of the season on a shot to right field off Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams. Adams is a Pennsylvania native who played at Division II Slippery Rock, about one hour north of Pittsburgh.

Adams finished with three hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs. Soto reached base five times, including four hits. Turner reached for a career-high 26th game in a row. Asdrubal Cabrera got the start at second base with Brian Dozier on the paternity list and had four hits with five RBI, including a homer in the ninth for a 13-0 lead.

Eaton also made some fans of young Pirate supporters down the right-field line, as he played toss with them in between one of the innings.

The only bit of bad news for the Nationals was that starting pitcher Joe Ross had to leave the game in with one out in the fourth inning. The Pirates’ Josh Bell hit a comebacker off the pitcher’s right leg. Ross did not allow a run and gave up just three hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Right-hander Javy Guerra (2-1) was credited with the win after he came on to pitch for Ross in the fourth inning. Guerra went 3 2/3 innings and gave up no runs, no hits, and no walks while fanning one.

Williams (5-6) was pounded for eight runs and lasted just two innings for Pittsburgh. The Pirates got back early Monday after playing in Williamsport on Sunday night in the MLB Little League Classic against the Cubs.

The game on Monday drew just 11,284 fans for a team that is fading, but plays in a scenic stadium along the Allegheny River.

The series continues Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. as Stephen Strasburg (15-5, 3.82) faces the Pirates’ Chris Archer (3-9, 5.23).

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