The Pirates won their fourth straight game last night, a 4-2 victory over the Nationals as Francisco Liriano and Stephen Strasburg both put on dominant pitching displays.
Liriano pitched 7 and two-thirds innings of shutout ball and took a no-hitter for 6 and two-thirds innings. Strasburg gave up a home run to Pedro Alvarez and a single in the second inning, then retired 20 of the next 22 batters, with no more hits.
Justin Wilson got the igfnal out of the 8th inning but gave up a two-run home run in the 9th before Mark Melancon came on and forced a double-play grounder to neil Walker. the call was controversial, as the Nats complained that Walker had not tagged the runner before throwing on to first, but the umpire's decision stood and the Pirates raised the Jolly Roger once again.
The Cardinals won again, so the Pirates remain a game-and-a-half behind St. Louis in the National League Central. With the Bucs and Cards playing a key five-game series over four days next week, manager Clint Hurdle says Jeanmar Gomez will start one of the games of the Tuesday doubleheader.
TODAY: A.J. Burnett (4-7/3.07 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (7-3/2.89 ERA) 12:10 airtime on 1160 WCCS.