Strasburg’s 8 scoreless innings help Nats stymie Braves
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stephen Strasburg didn’t duplicate fellow Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer’s stolen base from Monday night. He did nearly match Scherzer zero for zero against the Atlanta Braves.
Strasburg threw eight scoreless innings a day after Scherzer produced a two-hit shutout as the Nationals handled the Braves 4-1 on Tuesday night.
“I don’t know if he wants to one-up him, but I know he’s very competitive just like Max and I know he wants to do well and help us win,” manager Dave Martinez said. “That’s what he’s all about.”
Ryan Zimmerman had a two-run triple for Washington, which has rebounded from a five-game losing streak thanks to its two aces.
Strasburg (2-1) allowed three hits and two walks while striking out eight, at one point retiring 12 in a row. He didn’t allow a runner past second base.
There was a hint of fatigue when he walked the leadoff hitter in the eighth and then ran full counts before retiring the next two batters to prompt a visit from Martinez.
“He asked me how I was feeling,” Strasburg said. “I said ‘good’ and he walked away.”
Strasburg then got a weak grounder from Ender Inciarte on the first pitch to complete the inning.
Atlanta mustered five hits, two walks and no runs in 17 innings while striking out 18 times against Scherzer and Strasburg.
“That’s a rough two days when you have to face those two guys,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.
Ryan Madson allowed a two-out RBI double in the ninth to Dansby Swanson, but escaped the jam to earn his first save.
Zimmerman, dropped one place in the lineup to the fifth spot as part of Martinez’s early-season tinkering, entered the night hitting .097 with three RBIs in 31 at-bats.
He broke out of the funk with a first-inning liner that center fielder Inciarte dove for and missed. Zimmerman ended up with a two-run triple, his first triple since May 30, 2016, and he looked upward and grinned to celebrate what could be the end of his slump.
Brian Goodwin’s two-out single knocked in an unearned run off starter Mike Foltynewicz (1-1) in the fourth. Foltynewicz, who beat the Nationals in Atlanta last week, needed 104 pitches to get through five innings in the rematch.
“It was just an unlucky, tough day, and that’s also a result of not getting ahead on the first pitch there,” Foltynewicz said. “I had to throw some pitches in hitters’ counts that they were ready for because I didn’t want to keep walking people.”
The Nationals added another run in the sixth when reliever Shane Carle overthrew first on Strasburg’s sacrifice attempt.
Nationals OF Adam Eaton was scratched from the lineup with a bone bruise in his left ankle and will undergo an MRI and be re-evaluated Wednesday. Eaton suffered the injury Thursday and, after returning for the weekend, has missed two games in a row.
Eaton played in 23 games last season before suffering a left ACL tear on April 28. He is hitting .345 with two homers and five RBIs in eight games this year.
Braves: 3B Johan Camargo (right oblique muscle strain) homered Tuesday afternoon for Triple-A Gwinnett. Camargo is 2 for 16 in four games on his rehabilitation assignment.
Nationals: Washington reinstated C Miguel Montero from the paternity list and placed C Jhonatan Solano (right elbow bone spurs) on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 7. Solano had not played since joining the Nationals on Saturday. ... C Matt Wieters was 1 for 4 with a run in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment at Class A Potomac. ... Martinez said top prospect Victor Robles has a hyperextended elbow and will be re-evaluated Monday. Robles was injured while playing the outfield for Triple-A Syracuse on Monday.
Braves: RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 3.97 ERA) owns a 2.05 ERA in three career starts against Washington.
Nationals: RHP A.J. Cole (0-1, 24.55) makes his second start of the season as the three-game series concludes.
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