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story.lead_photo.caption St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

PITTSBURGH -- The Washington Nationals are on a hot streak at the plate that defies explanation.

"If anyone knew the answer to that, they could write a book and make millions of dollars," Adam Eaton said.

The onslaught continued Monday night when Asdrubal Cabrera hit the last of Washington's four home runs and drove in five runs, and three relievers combined for 62/3 innings of one-hit ball as the Nationals thumped the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-0.

Eaton, Matt Adams and Trea Turner also connected for the Nationals, who have scored 79 runs in their last eight games while going 7-1. They've scored 43 times in their past three, including a 15-14 loss.

Adams added two doubles and had four RBI. Juan Soto had four of Washington's 15 hits and walked, reaching base in all five plate appearances.

The Nationals aren't eager to talk about how they've managed to score at least 13 runs in the four of their last five games, for fear of jinxing themselves.

"I'll leave that to you guys in the media world," Eaton said.

Starting pitching is considered the Nationals' strength, with three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer fronting a rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. But Manager Dave Martinez believes Washington's offense stacks up well, too.

"We have a lot of functional pieces," Martinez said. "We've got guys that can get on base, guys that can steal bases, guys who can move the ball around and hit the ball all over, and guys in the middle of the lineup who can juice balls.

"Our lineup is pretty thick right now. I'm proud of the way they're swinging it. They are swinging at good pitches and willing to take walks, too."

Javy Guerra (2-1) pitched 32/3 perfect innings in relief of Joe Ross, who departed in the fourth inning. Ross was hit in the left shin by a one-hopper off the bat of Josh Bell.

PADRES 3, REDS 2 Francisco Mejia hit a solo home run off the foul pole, Manny Machado had an RBI single in the first inning, and visiting San Diego held on to beat Cincinnati. Kirby Yates escaped a bases-loaded threat in the ninth to save San Diego's third consecutive victory and earned his 36th save in 39 chances.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

MARINERS 9, RAYS 3 Tom Murphy hit two home runs and drove in four runs, Austin Nola also went deep and had three RBI, and visiting Seattle beat Tampa Bay. Murphy had three hits and a walk, including a three-run home run in the first and a solo shot in the fifth. He has 15 home runs in 52 games. Nola had a two-run home run during a four-run second off Rays two-way player Brendan McKay (2-3) and had an RBI single in the fourth.

ROYALS 5, ORIOLES 4 Nicky Lopez and Nick Dini hit home runs on successive pitches in the seventh inning and visiting Kansas City stretched Baltimore's latest losing streak to eight games. Kansas City (45-80) won for the sixth time in its last 22 games, and Baltimore (39-86) absorbed its 13th loss in 14 games. Orioles starter John Means (8-9) kept Kansas City hitless until Lopez led off the sixth inning with a single to spark a three-run uprising.

ASTROS 5, TIGERS 4 Yuli Gurriel had two hits and drove in two runs as host Houston built a lead with a big first inning and held on over Detroit. The Astros jumped on Detroit starter Edwin Jackson (3-6) for four runs in the first inning. They led 4-1 when Detroit's Ronny Rodriguez hit a solo home run in the sixth before Travis Demeritte added one in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-4.

WHITE SOX 6, TWINS 4 Jose Abreu hit a three-run home run in a four-run second inning, helping Ivan Nova and visiting Chicago beat Minnesota. Nova (9-9) allowed 10 hits and 2 runs in 51/3 innings, with both runs scoring among Minnesota's first three batters of the game.

RANGERS 8, ANGELS 7 (11) The Los Angeles Angels returned to Texas for the first time since pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room before the start of a series at the Rangers last month, losing in 11 innings after letting a six-run lead get away. Isiah Kiner-Falefa brought home the winning run with a high-chop infield single off Noe Ramirez (4-2), scoring Jose Trevino and ending the Rangers' four-game losing streak.

Sports on 08/20/2019

Print Headline: Nationals pound Pirates at plate in shutout victory

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