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Taillon battles through six, Pirates fall short


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The Nationals’ Howie Kendrick tags out Gregory Polanco at second base Monday night. - AP

WASHINGTON -- The true test of a pitcher's maturity is whether he can be effective when he doesn't have his best stuff. It's easy to pitch when the fastball is jumping, the curve is dropping off the table or the slider is totally wiping out the opposition.

Coming off back-to-back bad starts, Jameson Taillon was looking to get back on track in the opening game of a four-game series in Washington against the Nationals. The only problem was, his curveball didn't have its usual crispness on this warm — at least for what the Pirates have grown accustomed to playing in — evening.

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