PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Pirates starter Erik Bedard struggled Wednesday night at Washington, and his relief didn’t fare much better.

Bedard gave up three solo homers and Evan Meek, just called up from the minors, allowed three runs in one inning of relief as the Nationals beat the Pirates, 7-4.

Bedard was rather efficient in the early going, allowing two runs in the game’s first five innings. And when he seemed to be at his best — he retired 11 straight batters as he worked through the sixth — things took a severe turn.

Adam LaRoche and Xavier Nady, both former Pirates, hit back-to-back solo home runs with two outs to put the Nationals (23-14) up, 4-1, through six innings.

It was Bedard’s first start after leaving a game against the Nationals May 9 with back spasms. He missed one start.

Meek came on in relief in the seventh and was wild, hitting a batter and walking two more to load the bases for LaRoche. He came up big again, doubling down the right field line to score three more and put Washington ahead, 7-3.

It was LaRoche’s 1,000th career hit. He finished the game 3 for 4 from the plate with a home run, double and four RBIs.

Third baseman Josh Harrison provided most of the Pirates (17-20) offense on the night. He was 2 for 4 from the plate with a home run and three RBIs.

First baseman Casey McGehee added a fourth Pittsburgh run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly.

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