WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) – Miguel Andujar homered and drove in three runs in his season debut, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 Saturday in a day-night doubleheader opener for their best 27-game start in three decades.

Connor Joe also went deep for Pittsburgh, a National League-best 19-8. The Pirates, coming off four straight losing seasons, are off to their best start since opening 19-8 in 1992 en route to their last division title.

“It’s the consistency of how everyone is bringing that intensity every single day and understanding that we are boxers in a ring,” pitcher Rich Hill said. “You have to go out there and continue to keep fighting. That’s one of the best analogies that I can come up with. When that bell rings, it’s time to go. We get in between the lines and we’re the aggressor.”

In a doubleheader caused by Friday’s rainout, Hill (3-2) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out five. The 43-year-old left-hander has won three consecutive starts, lowering his ERA from 7.20 to 4.18. He threw 75 of 103 pitches for strikes, his most strikes since May 28, 2019.

Washington is last in the NL East at 9-16, including an NL-worst 2-10 at home.

Andujar, a 28-year-old infielder and outfielder claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees last September, hit .284 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 23 games for Triple-A Indianapolis before the Pirates selected his contract on Saturday.

“Last year when he came here at the end of the year, he did a really good job,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “This kid can hit. It was the right time to get him here.”

Andujar started in right field, hit a go-ahead RBI single in the second inning and broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth with a two-run drive off Carl Edwards Jr. into the visitors bullpen in left, his first big league homer since last Sept. 8 for the Yankees against Minnesota.

“To see this team playing on TV, having fun, a lot of energy, I’m happy to be here now,” Andujar said.

Andujar walked leading off the eighth, starting a two-run inning that included Austin Hedges’ bases-loaded walk from Anthony Banda and Bryan Reynolds’ sacrifice fly against Erasmo Ramírez.

David Bednar worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.

Patrick Corbin (1-4) allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Joe hit his fourth homer in the fourth but Riley Adams’ two-run double tied the score 2-2 in the bottom half.

Washington was 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

“We have to get that hard hit with guys on base,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “That’s what it boils down to. Keep swinging the bats. We had eight or nine hits but we needed that one big hit and just didn’t get it this first game.”

Pittsburgh right-hander Vince Velasquez (3-2, 3.76 ERA) and Nationals right-hander Chad Kuhl (0-1, 7.36) were to start the second game.