Washington, DC – After Ian Desmond sent a high fastball into the right-center-field seats for a solo home run in the seventh inning, Stephen Strasburg was one of the first to greet him with a high five at the bottom of the steps in the Washington Nationals' dugout.
Strasburg, despite his 2.50 earned run average, carried a 3-6 record in 13 starts coming into Friday's outing against the Colorado Rockies and seemed poised to pick up another no-decision.
Desmond's blast salvaged Strasburg's dominant outing and sent Washington to a 2-1 win, its third straight, in the second installment of a four-game series.
Strasburg (4-6) gave up one run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and did not issue a walk.
"If you throw the way (Strasburg) threw the ball tonight you deserve to get the win. As an offense we feel badly if we can't score runs to get him there. Even though tonight we only scored two it was enough to get him the win," said Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.
In addition to Desmond's home run, Zimmerman doubled in a run in the sixth inning that also drew a fist pump from Strasburg in the dugout.
Tyler Chatwood went toe-to-toe with Strasburg for six innings. He gave up one run on four hits en route to earning a no-decision. He struck out four and walked two.
"It is frustrating for us as a team to lose this many games in a row. We have been in a lot of games, it is just a matter of time until we break through. We'll be fine," Chatwood said.
Manny Corpas (0-2) took the loss. He pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up Desmond's home run.
DJ LeMahieu went 2-for-4 and knocked in the Rockies' only run.
After Josh Rutledge was hit by a pitch in the third inning, he reached second on a Chatwood sacrifice. LeMahieu grounded a base hit through the left side to give Colorado an early edge.
Washington tied the game with a two-out rally in the sixth. Anthony Rendon dropped a single just in front of Michael Cuddyer in shallow right field, and Zimmerman then sliced a double just inside the right-field line to score Rendon.
Desmond led off the seventh inning and took advantage of a high fastball for his 12th home run of the year. Desmond accounted for the Nationals' game- winning run each of the last three nights.
Drew Storen worked around a lead-off walk for a scoreless eighth and Rafael Soriano worked around a one-out single in the ninth to pick up his 19th save.
The Nationals have won four of five meetings with the Rockies this year, clinching their first season series between the two teams since 2005 ... Strasburg has allowed one earned run or less in his last seven starts. In that span, he has a 1.29 ERA (six earned runs in 42 innings) ... Chatwood has a 1.65 ERA in his last seven starts (seven earned runs in 38 2/3 innings) ... Colorado has lost five straight games.