PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Harrison shrugged it off when the Nationals intentionally walked the batter ahead of him in the lineup. Late in a tie game, Harrison had confidence facing Washington's ace.
Harrison lined a two-out single to center after Jose Tabata tied the game with a sacrifice fly two batters earlier, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Nationals 3-2 Saturday night for their fourth straight win.
"I was pretty much telling myself, 'I feel like I'm seeing everything he's throwing,'" Harrison said of his seventh-inning at bat against Stephen Strasburg. "I was just looking to barrel something up."
Gerrit Cole left after six innings trailing by a run while facing Strasburg in the first matchup in the NL of No. 1 overall draft picks in nine years.
Cole — the top pick of the 2011 draft, two years after Strasburg went first — allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.
Strasburg (3-4) allowed three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
Neil Walker hit his 10th home run for the Pirates, who tied their season-best winning streak.
Jered Hughes (3-1), Jeanmar Gomez and Mark Melancon each worked a perfect inning of relief for Pittsburgh. Melancon picked up his ninth save when he finished the Pirates' majors-best 14th one-run victory.
Ian Desmond hit his ninth homer for Washington (24-25), which has lost six of eight and fell under .500 for the first time this season.
"It's tough — we're all trying very hard, trying to get back on track," Strasburg said.
"I do think we've probably reached the point where we're trying too hard and need to take a step back and let the game come to us."
The bullpen backed up Cole, who allowed 10 baserunners and threw 112 pitches in six innings, retiring the side in order only once.
Still, Pittsburgh won for the fourth time in five May starts by Cole.
"A very gritty, gritty outing," Hurdle said of Cole.
Wilson Ramos' sawed-off, bloop single in the sixth scored Anthony Rendon to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead.
"Just tried to limit the damage as much as I (could)," said Cole, who downplayed any extra adrenaline in competing in such a high-profile pitching matchup.