Washington, DC – Stephen Strasburg tossed six scoreless innings on Sunday as the Washington Nationals dropped the Miami Marlins, 4-1, in the finale of a four-game series at Nationals Park.
Strasburg (12-5) bounced back nicely after a sub par outing against Philadelphia on July 31, in which he allowed six runs on eight hits over four innings.
This time out, he scattered three hits and fanned six with one walk in the win. The big righty also came up with a two-run single at the plate, helping the Nationals to their fourth win in five tries.
"I think I'm still learning how to pitch and call a game," Strasburg said. "Today was a big step forward for me in the process, but there's still a long way to go."
Adam LaRoche went 2-for-3 with a two-run single and Bryce Harper added a pair of hits in the victory.
Greg Dobbs drove in the lone run of the game for the Marlins with a double. Ricky Nolasco (8-11) was pegged with the loss after giving up four runs on eight hits and four walks over six innings.
Washington scored all four of its runs in the second inning. Jayson Werth started the inning with a solid single to left before Danny Espinosa was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a fly out by Jesus Flores and Strasburg ripped a single into the right-center field gap to score both runners.
The inning continued as Steve Lombardozzi drew a walk and Harper singled to right to load the bases for the red-hot LaRoche, who smoked a two-run single up the middle two hitter later to extend the lead to four.
Miami struggled against Strasburg all afternoon, but finally picked up a run with the Nats' ace out of the game in the seventh inning. Facing Craig Stammen, Carlos Lee ripped a double into the left-field corner and rumbled around to score on a Tobago by Dobbs, cutting the deficit to 4-1.
Drew Storen worked around a single by Dobbs in the ninth to nail down his first save of the season since returning from offseason surgery.
"He's better," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said of Strasburg. "With that stuff, you don't need 98 or 99 (miles-per-hour). He just spotted the ball very well. He's a way better pitcher now than we faced in the beginning of the year."
Washington improved to 15-9 at home and 29-17 overall against the National League East this season...Lee extended his hitting streak to 11 games...Nationals outfielder Michael Morse extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games...Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes (1-for-4) extended his career-high hitting streak to 24 games...Strasburg is an impressive 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position this season.