Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg shined for the Nationals in a 4-1 victory over the Miami Marlins August 5 at Nationals Park.
Strasburg allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out six in six scoreless innings to improve to 12-5 on the year. Dating back to last season, the All-Star pitcher has not allowed an earned run in his last 26 innings pitched against the Marlins.
After lasting only four innings and surrendering six runs in his previous outing against Philadelphia, Strasburg overpowered Miami and his teammates sensed Sunday’s start would be different.
“He [Strasburg] was great,” Adam LaRoche said. “That was back to the old ‘Stras’ we remember. There was something about when he came in the dugout before the game, we could all sense a little different attitude.”
That attitude also carried over to the plate, where Strasburg drove home the game’s first two runs with a second-inning single that scored Jayson Werth and Danny Espinosa.
“It’s big when you have a pitcher in the lineup that can handle a bat,” Strasburg said. “I think they’re starting to pitch me more like a hitter.”
The Nationals tacked on two more runs in the second when LaRoche delivered a two-out, bases loaded single that drove in Strasburg and Steve Lombardozzi. The four-run cushion would be all the Nats needed with their ace on the mound.
Miami scored its lone run in the seventh off back-to-back doubles from Carlos Lee and Greg Dobbs, which enabled Washington’s Drew Storen to earn his first save of the season since coming off the disabled list July 19.
“It felt pretty good,” Storen said. “I think the big thing for me is if I can get my sinker. If I can get my sinker to do what it was doing, then there is no reason not to pitch to contact when you have the guys playing behind me that I do.”
One guy playing behind Storen is outfielder Michael Morse, who appropriately extended his hitting streak to 14 games on Michael Morse Bobblehead Day.
A bright spot for the Marlins came from Jose Reyes as his single in the fourth inning put his hitting streak at 24 games, the longest in the majors this season.
The Nationals will now start a 10-game road trip, beginning August 6 against the Houston Astros. Edwin Jackson will take the ball for the Nationals, squaring off against Dallas Keuchel in Monday’s series opener.