Nats blow late lead, lose to Pirates, 4-1

washington nationalsGood news for the Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings. Bad news: the bullpen.

The Nats couldn’t hold a 1-0 eighth-inning lead, with the pen surrendering four Pittsburgh runs, three on a tie-breaking Sterling Marte homer, in a 4-1 loss on Tuesday.

Ugh, indeed.

Strasburg struck out six and walked one in seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, but Washington could only manage one run off what was effectively a Pirates staff day after starter Chris Archer left in the second with an injury.

Wander Suero (3-7, 4.93 ERA) couldn’t get an out in the eighth, leaving with the bases loaded and nobody out ahead of Daniel Hudson, who allowed a game-tying sac fly and then the Marte homer.

The Pirates pen, for its part, gave up just one Nats run on four hits in eight innings after Archer had to depart.

The loss drops the Nats (68-57) to six games back of Atlanta in the NL East standings.

Story by Chris Graham

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