Reporting Byron Kerr
Nationals right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg returned in mid-season form Tuesday night with five innings of shutout ball, but the Los Angeles Dodgers win the game, 7-3, before 29,092 on a rainy and cold night at Nationals Park.
368 days since Tommy John surgery, Strasburg allowed a double to the speedy Dee Gordon to lead off the game, but then retired 11 straight Dodgers. He ended up surrendering just two hits, with no runs, no walks and four strikeouts. Strasburg fired 56 pitches, 40 for strikes.
The Nationals got to Ted Lilly in the second inning with three runs. The inning highlighted by an RBI double from Wilson Ramos and an RBI grounder by Jayson Werth scored Strasburg, who had reached on a throwing error by Lilly.
The Dodgers got right back in the game once Strasburg departed.
They scored a run after Doug Slaten allowed two hits in the sixth. With one out, Brad Peacock was summoned to make his major league debut.
A hot shot to Ian Desmond off the bat of Matt Kemp got past him for a base hit, scoring Jamey Carroll. A walk to Juan Rivera and a two-run single by Andre Ethier tied the game at 3.
The Dodgers then took control with two big innings in the late going.
In the eighth, Rod Barajas smacked a two-run double off of Henry Rodriguez and Ethier added a two-run double of his own in the ninth off of Yunesky Maya and suddenly it was 7-3, Los Angeles.
The Dodgers struck out a season-high 17 batters as a team, nine by starter Lilly.