|Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper leaps for an RBI double by Miami Marlins' John Buck during the second inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Saturday, August 4, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)|
Strasburg leads Nationals over Marlins 4-1
WASHINGTON—Stephen Strasburg pitched three-hit ball over six shutout innings and drove in two runs, rebounding from his poorest outing this season to lead the Washington Nationals over the Miami Marlins 4-1 Sunday.
Strasburg (12-5) struck out six and walked one, extending his scoreless streak against the Marlins to 27 innings. He hit a two-run single in the second and raised his batting average to .343 (12 for 35) with seven RBIs.
Strasburg has a 2.97 ERA in 127 1-3 innings. The right-hander is pitching his first full major league season following reconstructive elbow surgery in 2010. Washington officials say they plan to end his season early, and he is thought to have a limit of about 160 innings, although the Nationals have not been specific.
In his previous start, Tuesday against Philadelphia, Strasburg tied his career high by giving up six runs. Strasburg has allowed four runs or more four times this season and in the following games has gone 4-0 and allowed just two earned runs.
Adam LaRoche also hit a two-run single as the Nationals won three of four from Miami and maintained a three-game lead over second-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Drew Storen pitched a one-hit ninth for his first save since Sept. 28. It was the first save chance for Storen since he returned July 19 from right elbow surgery.
Miami's Jose Reyes hit a fourth-inning single that extended his hitting streak to 24 games, the longest in the majors this season. Reyes starts a series Tuesday at his former team, the New York Mets.
Ricky Nolasco (8-11) gave up four runs, eight hits and four walks in six innings. He is 0-5 with a 7.16 ERA in his last five starts, allowing at least four runs in each.
Strasburg gave up a double to Scott Cousins in the first inning, then retired the next nine batters. He never allowed more than one runner in an inning.
He also started the Nationals' offense in the second inning. Strasburg came up with runners on second and third and one out, and hit a two-run single to right field.
Steve Lombardozzi followed with a walk and Bryce Harper's single loaded the bases. LaRoche singled up the middle with two outs.
Miami scored in the seventh when Carlos Lee and Greg Dobbs led off with back-to-back doubles against Craig Stammen. The double gave Lee an 11-game hitting streak, the 19th time in his career he's hit safely in at least 10 straight games.
NOTES: Nationals LF Michael Morse singled in the fifth inning to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest for the Nationals this season. ... After striking out swinging in the fourth inning, Harper slammed his bat on the plate, breaking it in half. ... The Nationals start a 10-game trip Monday at Houston. Washington has the best road record (33-21) in the majors.