Josiah Gray throws six strong innings, Nationals beat Pirates 7-2

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WASHINGTON – Josiah Gray pitched six strong innings, Joey Meneses had four hits and the Washington Nationals finally cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 in a game delayed nearly 2 1/2 hours by rain.

Jeimer Candelario and Victor Robles each had an early two-run double for Washington, which had lost three straight. Luis García delivered a two-run single in the second, and every Nationals starter got at least one hit.

Bryan Reynolds and Tucupita Marcano each had two hits and an RBI for the surprising Pirates, who had won four straight and 11 of 12. Pittsburgh finished April with a 20-9 record.

Gray (2-4) allowed one run on three hits and three walks. He struck out six and threw 105 pitches.

The right-hander retired 10 of his last 11 batters. Over his last five starts, he is 2-2 with a 1.57 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings.

Gray’s biggest challenge came in the third. After a single by Reynolds made it 5-1, two walks loaded the bases with two outs. But then Gray retired Jack Suwinksi on a hard shot to first baseman Dominic Smith, who tossed to Gray covering to end the inning.

“Things could have got out of hand quick if Suwinski got on there,” Gray said. “I beared down and made a pitch. Happy to keep the team in the game and be able to go put up some zeros.”

Added Pirates manager Derek Shelton: “Third inning we made him throw a lot of pitches and Suwinski hit that rocket right at Dominic Smith. That was kind of the difference in the game. If that ball’s a foot or two one way or the other, we’re at least at (5-3, maybe 5-4) and we run his pitch count up even more.”

Andrés Machado worked two scoreless innings for Washington, and Kyle Finnegan allowed a run in the ninth.

Pirates starter Johan Oviedo (2-2) gave up seven runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings.

“Definitely didn’t execute my pitches the way I want to,” said Oviedo, who has given up 11 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings over his last two starts. “They took advantage of it.”

The first pitch was pushed back 2 hours, 26 minutes. But after being swept in a doubleheader Saturday, including a 16-1 loss in the nightcap, the Nationals struck quickly.

Candelario’s two-run double gave Washington the lead in the first. García’s two-run single highlighted a three-run second, and Robles made it 7-1 with his two-run double in the third.

“We were being a little bit more aggressive. Pittsburgh man, they pound the zone and we had to be ready,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “The bats were nice, they were crisp this game and we had some good swings.”


The Pirates were looking to sweep their first series ever against the Nationals (2005-present).


Pirates: C Tyler Heineman, designated for assignment Wednesday, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for INF Vinny Capra. The 26-year-old Capra was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. … INF Drew Maggi was sent back to Double-A Altoona.

Nationals: The team selected Machado’s contract from Triple-A Rochester, and LHP Anthony Banda was designated for assignment. Banda had a 6.43 ERA in 10 games with Washington. Machado had a 2.92 ERA and two saves in 10 outings with Rochester.


Pirates: RHP Roansy Contreras (3-1, 3.58 ERA) starts when Pittsburgh begins a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. He has allowed three runs in 18 2/3 innings over his last three starts.

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-1, 3.00) starts the opener of a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Monday. Gore struck out 10 batters in six innings of a win over the Mets last time out.

Ohtani homers twice, including career longest at 459 feet, Angels beat White Sox 12-5

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CHICAGO (AP) Shohei Ohtani homered in consecutive innings, including a 459-foot drive that was the longest of his Major League Baseball career, and drove in four runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 12-5 Wednesday.

Mike Trout put the Angels ahead 2-0 with a 476-foot home run in the first that was four rows shy of clearing the left field bleachers. Taylor Ward also went deep as the Angels hit four two-run homers plus a solo shot.

“Those are the guys you lean on,” manager Phil Nevin said. “They can certainly put the team on their backs and carry us and that’s what they did today.”

Ohtani drove a first-pitch fastball from Lance Lynn (4-6) just to left of straightaway center in the third, where the ball was dropped by a fan who tried to glove it. That 425-foot drive put the Angels ahead 4-1.

Lynn didn’t even bother to turn and look when Ohtani hit a full count fastball more than a dozen rows over the bullpen in right-center in the fourth. The two-way Japanese star is batting .269 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs to go along with a 5-1 record and 2.91 ERA.

“I’m feeling good right now,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I’m putting good swings on pitches I should be hitting hard.”

Ohtani increased his career total to 13 multihomer games with his first this season.

Trout pulled a hanging curve for his 13th home run. Ward hit a two-run homer against Jesse Scholtens in the seventh and Chad Wallach, pinch hitting for Ohtani, had a solo homer in the ninth off Garrett Crochet.

“Usually when that happens, we’re in a good spot to win,” Trout said.

Trout and Ohtani have homered in the same game for the fifth time this season. The Angels hit a pair of 450-foot or more home runs in the same game for the first time since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

Lynn allowed eight runs, eight hits and two walks while hitting two batters in four innings, raising his ERA to 6.55. He has given up 15 home runs, one short of the major league high of Kansas City’s Jordan Lyles. Lynn had won his previous three starts.

“It seemed like he didn’t get away with any today,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “Just one of those days, man.”

Jaime Barria (2-2) gave up one run and four hits in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

Los Angeles won two of three from the White Sox after being swept by Miami last weekend.

Jake Burger homered for Chicago, which has lost four of five. Burger hit his 11th homer in the ninth and Hanser Alberto had a two run double off Tucker Davidson.

Chicago’s Romy Gonzalez, who’d homered in three straight games, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


Twenty-three people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a pregame swearing-in behind home plate.


Angels: Trout fouled a pitch off his right leg in the fourth but remained in the game.

White Sox: INF Elvis Andrus (strained left oblique) and RHP Mike Clevinger (right wrist inflammation) are close to returning but Grifol wouldn’t elaborate on either player’s status.


Angels: Reid Detmers (0-4, 4.93) starts Thursday’s series opener at Houston against fellow LHP Framber Valdez (5-4, 2.38).

White Sox: Have not announced a starter for Friday’s series opener against visiting Detroit, which starts RHP Reese Olson in his major league debut. Olson is 2-3 with a 6.38 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Toledo.

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