WASHINGTON — Stephen Strasburg recovered from another rough first inning to pitch into the eighth, Wilson Ramos produced a go-ahead sacrifice fly in his first game since opening day, and the Washington Nationals edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday.
After waiting through a rain delay of more than 1½ hours to throw his first pitch, Strasburg (3-2) did what he’s done all season: struggled to get the first three outs, then been fairly dominant. This time, he gave up four consecutive singles, including run-scoring hits by Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig, during a 28-pitch first as Los Angeles went ahead 2-0.
Then Strasburg got into a groove, while his teammates scored three runs off former Nationals pitcher Dan Haren (4-1).
In all, Strasburg allowed two runs and seven hits — all singles — in 7 1-3 innings. He faced the minimum three batters in each of the second through fifth innings, and threw a total of 114 pitches.
In the sixth, he put two men on, but got Andre Ethier on a grounder for the third out. In the seventh, Strasburg also put two on, then was replaced by lefty Jerry Blevins, who got Gonzalez to pop out in foul territory.
Righty Tyler Clippard then came in to face Puig, who flied out to center on the first pitch. Rafael Soriano threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save in seven chances.
Strasburg lowered his season ERA to 3.42, but there’s quite a disparity hidden in there. He’s allowed eight earned runs in his eight first innings in 2014, a 9.00 ERA. From the second inning on, it’s 2.29.
Haren, who spent 2013 with the Nationals, went six innings, giving up three runs and seven hits.
Like Strasburg, he let in two runs in the first inning, both scoring on Adam LaRoche’s long single off the top of the wall down the line in right.
Washington broke the tie in the fifth, when hits by Denard Span and Jayson Werth, plus a walk to LaRoche, loaded the bases with one out for Ramos. He worked the count full before sending a fly ball to right field that Puig — back in the lineup after a two-game absence — ran down to grab. Puig then made a strong throw home, but Span beat it by a couple of steps to make it 3-2.
Ramos earlier had a double on the first pitch he’d faced in the majors since March 31, when he broke a bone in his left wrist against the Mets. He sat out 32 games.
Nats News And Rumors
- There’s No Easy (or Cheap) Way Out for RFK Stadium
- Nats Win Another Battle in MASN Rights Fees Dispute
- Max Scherzer Wins 3rd Cy Young Award
- SNIDER: Nationals Shouldn’t Stare Down Bryce Harper
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)