Effective Corbin helps Nationals avoid sweep vs. Pirates

Sep 12, 2021, 1:18 AM | Updated: 2:39 pm

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Patrick Corbin is in the midst of a forgettable season. So is his team.

Still, the veteran Washington Nationals left-hander believes he’s found a little something of late. Then again, he always seems to when he’s facing the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Corbin working seven strong innings to give Washington’s overworked bullpen a bit of a break as the Nationals avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Pirates 6-2 on Sunday.

Corbin (8-14) allowed two runs on four hits, striking out four with two walks to improve to 3-0 with a 0.89 ERA against the Pirates since joining Washington in 2019. The 32-year-old retired the last 13 batters he faced while lasting seven innings for a second straight start.

“The results have been a lot better the last couple,” Corbin said. “But like I said, I don’t feel any different. Just maybe attacking the zone a little bit more. Trying to be more aggressive. Trying to finish this year strong. Pitch as well as I can in the starts I have remaining and finish on a high note.”

Corbin, one of the dwindling number of players remaining from the group that won the World Series less than two years ago, has spent most of the year struggling to find any sort of consistency. Against the Pirates, he kept the ball down, let the defense do most of the work while getting into a rhythm with catcher Alex Avila.

“I wanted Alex to catch (Corbin) a couple times to get him back on track,” Washington manager Davey Martinez said. “I don’t know if I’ll do it again. I might want one of these young guys to catch him.”

Lane Thomas hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth off Bryse Wilson (2-7) to put the Nationals in front to stay. Luis Garcia and Avila also homered for Washington. Juan Soto doubled and tripled and is hitting .407 (22 of 54) over his last 16 games.

“We’ve been scoring some runs,” Corbin said after Washington won for just the fourth time in its last 16 games. “We’ve been in a lot of these games and it seems something doesn’t quite go our way toward the end. It seems like it’s been a learning experience for our guys.”

Pittsburgh fell to 0-13 when going for a series sweep and is the only team in Major League Baseball without a sweep with just three weeks left in the regular season.

“Obviously, you want to get those wins against any team that you can,” Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman said. “But we look at the positives and say that’s a series win. And, really, stringing those together is kind of the goal. Obviously, the icing on the cake is a sweep.”

Wilson fell to 0-4 since being acquired in a trade that sent closer Richard Rodriguez to Atlanta. Wilson’s numbers since arriving in Pittsburgh entering were OK if not great — a 4.35 ERA in six starts — but he was undone by the long ball against the Nationals. Wilson had allowed four home runs in 31 innings with the Pirates but gave up three in just 4 1/3 innings on Sunday.

“His stuff played a little bit flat today,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said of Wilson.

Wilson appeared to be in good shape entering the top of the fourth and quickly retired the first two batters he faced. Avila, batting seventh, then drilled a long home run to the seats in right field. Adrian Sanchez followed with a double and moved to third on Corbin’s single to left.

Pirates pitching coach Oscar Marin came out to talk to Wilson. It didn’t work. Thomas turned on a 91 mph fastball over the heart of the plate and sent high over the 21-foot high Roberto Clemente Wall in right for his fourth home run of the season.

Newman’s leadoff triple in the third was Pittsburgh’s only extra-base hit. While Newman scored on Bryan Reynolds’ sacrifice fly to put the Pirates up 2-1, Corbin shut the door from there.


Pirates: RHP David Bednar, one of the few bright spots out of the bullpen, is dealing with what Shelton called “right side discomfort.” There is no timetable on a possible return for Bednar, who is 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA and three saves in 58 games.


Nationals: Return home to begin a three-game set against Miami on Monday. Washington has won 8 of 13 meetings with the Marlins this season. Paolo Espino (4-4, 4.35 ERA) will make his 16th start for the Nationals.

Pirates: Are off Monday before starting a three-game series against Cincinnati on Tuesday. Dillon Peters (0-2, 3.38) faces Wade Miley (12-5, 2.89) in the opener.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) passes the ball past Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jal...
Associated Press

Thompson scores 42 points with 12 3s, Warriors beat Thunder

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 42 points with a season-high 12 3-pointers, Jordan Poole added 21 points and 12 assists starting in Stephen Curry’s place, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 141-114 on Monday night. Thompson sat down for the night to a roaring ovation with 4:41 left to […]
22 hours ago
Donna Kelce greets her sons, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, left, and Kansas City Chiefs t...
Associated Press

Donna Kelce brings cookies for sons at Super Bowl opener

PHOENIX (AP) — Donna Kelce brought cookies to Super Bowl opening night. The mother of All-Pros Travis and Jason Kelce surprised her sons during an interview with NFL Network’s Michael Irvin with two batches of cookies — one for each. “It’s just been amazing that they’ve both been able to get to this point in […]
22 hours ago
Arizona Coyotes defenseman J.J. Moser (90) and Minnesota Wild center Sam Steel collide in the secon...
Associated Press

Chrychrun scores twice as Coyotes beat Wild 3-2

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Jakob Chychrun had two goals, Jack McBain scored the tie-breaking goal on a breakaway with seven minutes remaining and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Monday night. McBain put a back-hander past Marc-Andre Fleury moments after the Coyotes killed off an abbreviated 55-second power play. Karel Vejmelka had […]
22 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks Josh Green (8) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, left, defe...
Associated Press

Green, Hardy help Mavs surprise Jazz 124-111 without Doncic

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Josh Green and Jaden Hardy each scored career highs of 29 points and the short-handed Dallas Mavericks, playing without Luka Doncic, stunned the Utah Jazz 124-111 on Monday night after completing a trade for Kyrie Irving. The Mavericks acquired the eight-time All-Star along with Markieff Morris from the Brooklyn Nets […]
22 hours ago
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, right, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hu...
Associated Press

Mahomes, Hurts aware of significance of this Super Bowl duel

PHOENIX (AP) — Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is thrilled young aspiring football players all over the world will get to watch two Black quarterbacks face each other for the first time in the Super Bowl. He’s also pleased they get to watch two really, really good quarterbacks. “I’m really excited for both quarterbacks, what […]
22 hours ago
Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) defends against a shot while under pressure from Anahei...
Associated Press

Tyler Seguin’s shootout goal gives Stars 3-2 win over Ducks

DALLAS (AP) — Tyler Seguin scored Dallas’ second shootout goal, and the Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Monday night. Nils Lundkvist and Roope Hintz scored in regulation for Dallas, and Jason Robertson also scored in the shootout. The Stars dropped three straight 3-2 games in overtime before the All-Star break. Dallas goaltender Jake […]
22 hours ago
Effective Corbin helps Nationals avoid sweep vs. Pirates