WASHINGTON — Ryan Zimmerman grounded a go-ahead single off the shin of Pittsburgh reliever D.J. Carrasco in the seventh inning and the Washington Nationals, still buzzing after Stephen Strasburg’s dazzling debut, beat the Pirates 7-5 Wednesday night.
A night after a sellout crowd of 40,315 watched Strasburg strike out 14 Pirates in winning his big league debut, only 18,876 fans came to Nationals Park. They witnessed the first major league appearance by Pittsburgh’s Brad Lincoln, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft.
Lincoln, promoted from triple-A Indianapolis after Tuesday night’s game, allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Lincoln also had two hits and drove in a run.
It was 5-5 when Cristian Guzman singled in the seventh off Carrasco (1-2) and moved up on Nyjer Morgan’s sacrifice bunt. Zimmerman hit a grounder that struck Carrasco on his follow-through and caromed into short right field.
Adam Dunn homered for the second straight day as Washington handed the Pirates their seventh consecutive road loss. Pittsburgh has dropped four straight overall.
Drew Storen (2-0) worked a scoreless seventh for the victory. Tyler Clippard pitched the eighth and Matt Capps got the final three outs for his 20th save.
Dunn’s two-run homer in the first gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead.
The Pirates went up 3-2 against Nationals starter John Lannan in the third.
Andrew McCutchen drew a one-out walk, Garrett Jones singled and both runners moved up on a double steal. McCutchen scored on Adam LaRoche’s groundout, and Lastings Milledge singled home Jones. Milledge went to second when centre fielder Morgan threw wildly home and scored on Ronny Cedeno’s single.
Neil Walker’s single scored Jose Tabata for a 4-2 lead in the fourth. Tabata, recalled from triple-A earlier in the day to make his major league debut, had reached on an infield single.
Roger Bernadina hit an RBI double in the Nationals fourth, then scored for a 4-all tie when Ian Desmond hit a sinking liner to right for a double. Desmond advanced to third on Wil Nieves’ flyout and scored on Lannan’s bad-hop infield single for a 5-4 edge.
Lannan exited after Lincoln’s second hit of the night — a grounder off Lannan’s right leg that bounced into left field — scored Milledge, who had doubled.
Lannan yielded five runs — four earned — on 10 hits over 4 2-3 innings.
Nieves’ sacrifice fly produced an eighth-inning insurance run.
NOTES: The Pirates stole a season-high four bases. ... Tabata hit an infield single in his first at-bat to lead off the game, but left after seven innings because of a right hamstring cramp. Lincoln singled in his first at-bat in the second. ... Nationals manager Jim Riggleman rested C Ivan Rodriguez one day after he returned from the disabled list to catch Strasburg’s debut. Riggleman said he would try not to use Rodriguez, who missed time with lower back tightness, in more than three straight games until after the all-star break. ... Washington LHP Scott Olsen has experienced a setback in his recovery from left shoulder tightness that landed him on the 15-day disabled list on May 22. Olsen will be shut down and then restart his rehabilitation program when his shoulder feels better. ... Former “American Idol” contestant David Archuleta sang the national anthem.