The Nationals reinstated pitcher Stephen day disabled Tuesday, and he threw five shutout innings against the Dodgers in his first major league start in more than a year.
Returning from Tommy John surgery, the hard-throwing right-hander made his first MLB start since August 21, 2010, allowing just two hits and striking out four without a walk.
Strasburg's fastball topped out at 99 mph and his changeup averaged in the low 90s. He was on a limited pitch count on a rainy night and threw 40 of his 56 pitches for strikes.
The Nationals lost the game, 7-3, and Strasburg didn't record a decision.
"He was special," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He stayed down most of the time. He went up when he wanted to. It was fun watching him. It was like he never went out."
Strasburg, 23, made six rehab appearances, compiling a 1-1 record and 3.54 earned run average, and was expected to pitch five or six innings in his return to the Nationals.
Before his injury, Strasburg recorded a 5-3 record with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts last season. He struck out 92 batters while walking just 17 in 68 innings.
Also on Tuesday, the Nationals recalled pitchers Yunesky Maya, Craig Stammen and Atahualpa Severino, and outfielder Corey Brown from Triple-A Syracuse.
They selected the contracts of pitcher Brad Peacock and infielder Steve Lombardozzi from Syracuse, transferred pitcher Cole Kimball to the 60-day disabled list, unconditionally released pitcher Adam Carr and designated pitcher Garrett Mock for assignment.