VIERA, Fla. – Stephen Strasburg struck out five in a row and eight overall in 5 1-3 innings, but the Washington Nationals lost to the Houston Astros 4-2 on Saturday night.
Strasburg, making his fifth spring start, threw 93 pitches. He gave up five hits, including a solo homer to former teammate Rick Ankiel.
Also for Washington, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman played his first game in the field since having offseason shoulder surgery.
Houston pitcher Lucas Harrell, who missed his last scheduled start because of a groin injury, went four innings and did not allow a hit while walking two and striking out three.
A two-run single by Rene Garcia of Washington reliever Drew Storen keyed a three-run rally for the Astros in the bottom of the eighth inning.