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Corbin helps Nats avoid Bucs’ sweep

PITTSBURGH — Patrick Corbin is in the midst of a forgettable season. So is his team.

Still, the veteran Washington Nationals left-hander believes he’s found a little something of late. Then again, he always seems to when he’s facing the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Corbin working seven strong innings to give Washington’s overworked bullpen a bit of a break as the Nationals avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Pirates 6-2 on Sunday.

Corbin (8-14) allowed two runs on four hits, striking out four with two walks to improve to 3-0 with a 0.89 ERA against the Pirates since joining Washington in 2019. The 32-year-old retired the last 13 batters he faced while lasting seven innings for a second straight start.

“The results have been a lot better the last couple,” Corbin said. “But like I said, I don’t feel any different. Just maybe attacking the zone a little bit more. Trying to be more aggressive. Trying to finish this year strong. Pitch as well as I can in the starts I have remaining and finish on a high note.”

Corbin, one of the dwindling number of players remaining from the group that won the World Series less than two years ago, has spent most of the year struggling to find any sort of consistency. Against the Pirates, he kept the ball down, let the defense do most of the work while getting into a rhythm with catcher Alex Avila.

“I wanted Alex to catch (Corbin) a couple times to get him back on track,” Washington manager Davey Martinez said. “I don’t know if I’ll do it again. I might want one of these young guys to catch him.”

Saturday’s win

Bryan Reynolds hit his 23rd home run of the season and drove in three runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates surged past the Washington Nationals 10-7 on Saturday.

Reynolds hit a two-run shot to right-center field in the fifth and gave Pittsburgh the lead in the sixth when he worked a bases-loaded walk against Washington reliever Andres Machado.

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