Stephen Strasburg dazzled in his season debut on Tuesday, but the Washington bullpen couldn't put the Dodgers away in losing for the 11th time in 14 tries.
The Nationals will try to take a series victory over Los Angeles today when the two teams complete a four-game set with a doubleheader in DC. The double dip was made necessary when Wednesday's scheduled contest was rained out.
Strasburg made his much-anticipated debut in a 7-3 loss after recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He was out since last August and made six rehab assignments to get back to the big leagues.
Strasburg, who's on a limited pitch count and is only expected to last five or six innings, hurled five scoreless innings and allowed two hits with four strikeouts in the no-decision. Five Washington relievers then gave up seven runs the rest of the way and Henry Rodriguez took the loss.
"He was special," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of Strasburg. "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."
Wilson Ramos drove in a run and both Ryan Zimmerman and Chris Marrero ended with two hits for the Nationals, who are 2-3 on a 10-game homestand versus the Mets, Dodgers and Astros, and won Monday's series opener, 7-2.
Chien-Ming Wang will handle pitching duties in game one for Washington and is 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA in seven starts. He last pitched in a 5-2 loss at Atlanta on Thursday and allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. The righty is 1-2 in four home starts this season and has never faced the Dodgers.
Going for the Nats in the nightcap will be Ross Detwiler, who is 2-5 with a 3.83 ERA. Detwiler lost his second straight outing and fell for the fifth time in six decisions on Friday against the Mets and was awful in doing so, as he hurled just three innings and was charged with six runs on seven hits and two homers.
"It was definitely my worst outing," Detwiler said. "Nothing worked. Bad location, bad pitches, everything."
This will be his second-ever start against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles ended a two-game slide to win for the 12th time in 15 tries, and is three games from getting back to the .500 mark (69-72). In Tuesday's come- from-behind win at Nationals Park, Andre Ethier had four RBI, Rod Barajas posted two hits and Dee Gordon ended 3-for-5 with a run scored.
"He lives up to the hype of what he has. He has great stuff," Ethier said of facing Strasburg. "He commands all his pitches, hits his spots."
Ted Lilly started for the Dodgers and did not factor in the outcome by allowing three runs -- two earned -- in five innings. Kenley Jansen tossed a scoreless inning of relief to record the win for the Dodgers, who are 4-2 on an 11-game road trip. They will visit San Francisco after this series.
Chad Billingsley gets the call in the second game for the Dodgers, as he tries for his first win in five starts (0-1). Billingsley did not get a decision on Friday in Atlanta, as he surrendered five runs (three earned) and nine hits in just four innings of an 8-6 win. He is 10-10 on the year with a 4.15 ERA.
Billingsley beat the Nats earlier in the year and is 4-1 in six starts against them with a 2.50 ERA.
Going to the opener for LA will be Dana Eveland, who made his season debut in a 6-4 win at Pittsburgh on Thursday. He held the Buccos to a run and six hits in eight innings, and hadn't pitched in the majors since June 2010.
"I've done it up here before; it's not the first time that I've won a game up here, so I didn't really have any nerves or anything," said Eveland, who went 12-8 with a 4.38 earned run average for Triple-A Albuquerque. "I just treated it like another day on the mound. It doesn't matter where I'm at, I'm gonna go out and do my thing."
The Dodgers took two of three matchups from Washington from July 22-24 and have won five of the previous seven meetings between the teams.