Stephen Strasburg gave up two hits over five shutout innings last night in his first major league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery, but the bullpen blew the lead as the Nationals lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-3, at Washington.
The 2009 overall No. 1 draft pick again displayed the blurry fastball, the knee-buckling sinker, and the fooled-again changeup that wowed the baseball world last year during his rookie season. Those magical days of “Strasmus’’ came to an abrupt end when his elbow popped Aug. 21 in Philadelphia, and his long road back began when he had the career-saving ligament replacement surgery last Sept. 3.
The 23-year-old righthander wound his way through six minor league rehab starts, culminating with a majors return that was easily the most anticipated event of the season for the Nationals.
Strasburg was set to get the win when he departed with a 3-0 lead, but the bullpen allowed the Dodgers to tie it in the sixth.
Rod Barajas’s two-run double in the eighth inning off Henry Rodriguez (3-3) put the Dodgers ahead for good, giving Kelly Jansen (2-1) the win.
Tigers 10, Indians 1 - Victor Martinez drove in three runs and Detroit pummeled host Cleveland to drop the Indians 8 1/2 games back in the AL Central standings.
Rick Porcello (13-8) was staked to an 8-0 lead after the top of the second inning as the Tigers knocked around Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona (6-14). Porcello gave up three hits and one run over 6 1/3 innings. He gave up only a single to Jason Kipnis in the second before Kosuke Fukudome homered to open Cleveland’s seventh.
Detroit has won five straight and is 15-4 since Aug. 19. The Tigers have won their last six meetings with Cleveland after the Indians took six of the first eight.
Cleveland has lost four of six and is 40-54 since holding a seven-game lead in the Central with a 30-15 record May 23.
Rangers 8, Rays 0 - C.J. Wilson (15-6) threw a five-hitter, David Murphy drove in four runs, and AL West-leading Texas beat Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Mariners 2, Angels 1 - Felix Rodriguez (14-11) pitched eight innings of four-hit ball to win at Angel Stadium for the first time since 2006, and Seattle snapped a five-game skid.
Cardinals 4, Brewers 2 - Kyle Lohse (13-8) threw six scoreless innings on eight days’ rest and host St. Louis got home runs from Jon Jay and Matt Holliday in the third inning, slicing just a bit into Milwaukee’s formidable NL Central lead.
Phillies 6, Braves 3 - Rookie Vance Worley (11-1) pitched six effective innings and host Philadelphia beat Atlanta to extend its lead in the NL East to 9 1/2 games.
Giants 6, Padres 4 - Brett Pill hit a two-run homer in his first big league at-bat, Eric Surkamp earned his first major league win, and San Francisco had to escape a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning to beat host San Diego.
Mets 7, Marlins 4 - Nick Evans drove in three runs, including a go-ahead single in the 12th inning, to lift New York, which blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning.
Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 3 - Troy Tulowitzki homered, Seth Smith tripled twice, and Colorado rallied to beat host Arizona.
Reds 4, Cubs 2 - Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the 13th inning and Cincinnati rebounded after blowing a two-run lead in Chicago.
Astros 4, Pirates 1 - Brett Myers (4-13) pitched into the eighth to earn his first win in 2 1/2 months as visiting Houston beat Pittsburgh.
White Sox 3, Twins 0 - Jake Peavy (7-7) struck out a season-high nine and Alex Rios homered to help Chicago beat Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Royals 7, Athletics 4 - Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning and Danny Duffy won for the first time in more than a month for visiting Kansas City.