THE RESULT:  John Lannan had a thing or two to prove once he returned from his exile to the minor leagues.  For his last seven starts he's looked like a different pitcher than before he was sent out.

For seven innings Lannan fairly dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates batting order, leading the Washington Nationals to a 9-2 victory before 30,263 at PNC Park, one of the finest arenas for Major League Baseball in the country.

Lannan gave up just one earned run on five hits and one walk, striking out seven Bucs hitters.  He kept the young Pirate order off balance and earned his seventh win of the season against six losses.  Only once in the seven games since his return from the minors has Lannan given up more than two earned runs in an appearance.

The Washington batting order helped their pitcher by beating up on Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm (L, 7-14).  They got five in the fourth and another two in the fifth against the lefty before he was lifted.

The attack was led by veteran catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs.  Six Nats hitters drove in runs, including rookie Danny Espinosa, who went 2-for-5 and is hitting .455 after three major league games.

THE GOOD:  In addition to their starting pitcher, the offense really got the job done, despite Adam Dunn watching this one from the bench.  The Nats pounded out 15 hits against Maholm and four Pirates relievers. 

Even embattled Nyjer Morgan went 2-for-5 with an RBI, though both hits were flares to the opposite field and not hit very hard.  It was one of those nights that everything fell in for the Nats.

THE BAD:  Doug Slaten.  He was not very sharp in his one inning of work, giving up a run on three hits.

Ian Desmond had two errors, though the first was a tough call by the Pirates official scorer.  The second one, on the next ball put into play, simply rolled underneath his glove.  No runs scored as a result.

THE UGLY:  Justin Maxwell.  The poor guy just can't make contact at the major league level.  He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, though he drove in a run with a sac fly.

THE STATS:  6 Ks, 3 BBs, 6-for-14 with RISP, 8 LOB, 1 GIDP.

NEXT GAME:  Sunday at 1:35 pm (or about 10 hours from this post).  Jason Marquis (1-7, 8.13) looks to continue his streak of competance against Charlie Morton (1-10, 10.03).  If you look at the ERAs, it should be a barnburner.