The Pittsburgh southpaw, who will get the start on Monday against the Nationals, has received 12 total runs of support in his first eight starts this year.
The Pirates have scored one run or fewer in five of his outings.
"We're seeing probably some anxiety," Hurdle said of the Bucs' offense. "Unfortunately, they have to play the game. They have to take ownership of those at-bats, and we need a couple of guys to step up and take ownership in key situations."
The Nationals -- who enter the game having lost three of four -- have had their own share of struggles at the plate. Their team batting average of .222 ranks last in the Majors.
"We know if we got on track offensively a little bit earlier, we would've won a few more games because we've pitched very well," Washington manager Jim Riggleman said. "But that's the nature of it. The record says what we are. We're kind of hanging in there and treading water a little bit, but we feel very good about the club."
The Nats will also be hoping starter John Lannan can finally get over the hump against Pittsburgh at home. Lannan will be making his fourth career start against the Pirates in Washington, but continues to search for his first victory in such situations.
Lannan is 1-4 with a 4.91 ERA in his career against Pittsburgh. He last won on April 20 in St. Louis, and took a no-decision in his last start against the Braves.
Pirates: Looking to stop skid
Pittsburgh has lost a season-high five consecutive games, following a three-game winning streak.
Nationals: Desmond on the mend
Riggleman said Sunday that shortstop Ian Desmond, who has been nursing a strained left quad, is feeling better and will likely will start on Monday.
With two runs on Sunday, Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth boosted his season total to 22, which leads the team. He also leads the club with 14 extra-base hits. Worth noting
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, including a 1-for-3 performance Sunday. He has eight RBIs in his last 10 games. Pittsburgh's trip to Washington is the first of two series between the two teams there. The Pirates will also meet the Nationals at Nationals Park from July 1-3.
Jerry Hairston Jr.'s throwing error in the top of the second inning Sunday snapped Washington's nine-game errorless streak, which matched a Nationals record for consecutive games without a miscue.