Espinosa's HR lifts Nationals over Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm works during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Monday in Washington. (AP photo)
Espinosa, who was 8 for 73, drove the first pitch thrown by Pirates reliever Jose Ascanio into the left-field bullpen, scoring Mike Morse, who had singled off hard-luck Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm (1-6). Espinosa’s 22 RBIs leads all rookies, but has seen his average dip from .281 to .193 in the last 20 games.
Jerry Hairston also homered for the light-hitting Nationals, who managed just six hits.
Washington starter John Lannan scattered seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, allowing two runs. Reliever Cole Kimball (1-0) earned his first major league win in relief.