Former Pirate Josh Bell homers, sends Pittsburgh to 10th straight loss


Washington Nationals’ Josh Bell hits a two-run home run during the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Washington. Washington won 3-1. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Paolo Espino got his first major league win at age 34, Josh Bell hit a two-run homer and the Washington Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 for a three-game sweep.

Espino allowed three hits in five scoreless innings. He struck out two, walked none and threw 39 of his 53 pitches for strikes, a 74% strike rate.

Washington has won four straight, matching its longest winning streak of the season.

The Pirates extended their skid to 10 games.

Espino made his fifth career big league start in the rotation spot of Max Scherzer, who’s on the 10-day injured list.

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