04/21 16:39 CDT Strasburg Ks 11 in 8 innings as Nationals beat Marlins 5-0
Strasburg Ks 11 in 8 innings as Nationals beat Marlins 5-0
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) --- Stephen Strasburg walked off the field after a 1-2-3 eighth
inning, and when his manager and teammates lined up in the dugout to punctuate
his performance with a round of handshakes, he ignored them and made a beeline
down the steps toward the clubhouse tunnel.
Strasburg wanted to keep pitching against the Miami Marlins. And who can blame
The right-hander dominated his favorite foil Sunday, striking out 11 and
allowing two hits to help the Washington Nationals avert a series sweep with a
Ryan Zimmerman hit two solo home runs, and Brian Dozier also had a solo homer.
Manager Dave Martinez decided eight innings and 104 pitches were enough for
Strasburg, and followed him into the tunnel to tell him so.
"He wanted to go back out," Martinez said with a chuckle. "I went down there
with him and said, 'Great job.' He said, 'OK.'"
Said the taciturn Strasburg: "I'm going to go as long as I can until he takes
the ball out of my hands. It's that simple."
Strasburg (2-1) improved to 18-7 in 32 career starts versus the Marlins. He has
won his past nine decisions against them, and has more victories over Miami
than against any other team.
With his longest outing this season, Strasburg reached double digits in
strikeouts for the 41st time, and the first time this year, while lowering his
ERA from 5.56 to 4.11.
He helped the Nationals bounce back after losing the first two games of the
series against a team with the worst record in the majors.
"He was really, really good," Martinez said. "An unbelievable pick-me-up."
The retractable roof was open at Marlins Park, a rarity for a day game, and
Zimmerman said the mix of sun and shadows in the infield made hitting a
"It's awful," he said. "I don't understand why you would play a game like that
if you don't have to. ... Close the roof."
The Marlins were shut out for the sixth time, and manager Don Mattingly blamed
Strasburg rather than the shadows.
"He got his breaking ball over all day long," Mattingly said. "I thought he had
pretty much everything working."
Miami loaded the bases in the ninth thanks to two walks and an infield single
before Sean Doolittle retired Miguel Rojas to complete a three-hitter.
Washington won without slugger Anthony Rendon, who sat out after being hit by a
pitch on the left elbow Saturday.
Trevor Richards (0-3) allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings and was a bit
unlucky. Homers by Zimmermanand Dozier were pulled down the left field line and
barely cleared the fence.
Zimmerman's second homer in the ninth also had just enough distance, giving him
999 career RBIs. The homers were his second and third this year, and his
average rose to .203.
The Marlins (6-16) came up short in a bid for their first series sweep since
"Everyone says, 'This team is going to lose this many games,'" Zimmerman said.
"But they're a big league team with some talented young kids. You have to go
there and play good baseball, or they're going to beat you. I hate when people
say that about big league teams."
Rendon's elbow was heavily taped, but Martinez said he is optimistic his third
baseman won't need to go on the injured list. An X-ray revealed no fracture.
Less than 24 hours after beating Max Scherzer , the Marlins were back in their
old rut offensively.
Lewis Brinson went 0 for 3, dropping his average to .179. He is in a 1-for-27
slump with 16 strikeouts, leaving him in danger of a demotion to the minors.
"You're always looking at your roster and seeing what makes us better right
now, and what's best for guys," Mattingly said. "You're always looking to make
your club a little bit better."
Curtis Granderson struck out swinging four times, and his average fell to .155.
Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 2.63) is scheduled to pitch to start a
three-game series Monday at Colorado.
Marlins: Begin a six-game trip Tuesday at Cleveland, where RHP Pablo Lopez
(1-3, 5.85) pitches against RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 7.41).
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