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Houston at Washington

Houston (49-97)100000001270
Washington (67-77) «01400120x8121

Strasburg allows one run in three innings on mound

CBSSports.com wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg had just started to feel good on the mound when his manager told him he was finished for the day.

Making his second major league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery, Strasburg allowed one run over three innings in Washington's 8-2 win against the Houston Astros on Sunday.

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After the right-hander worked a perfect third, Nationals' manager Davey Johnson let him know he was coming out.

"I explained to him, 'Look, I don't want to have to go out and hook you during an inning, and as far as I'm concerned it was like your second time out in spring training,"' Johnson said. "That's enough for me."

Strasburg didn't display the same efficiency he did in his return Tuesday. He needed 31 pitches to get out of the first inning, although he settled down and finished with six straight outs. The top draft pick of 2009 allowed three hits and struck out four in his 57-pitch outing.

Johnson said his young star was on a 70-pitch limit, but he decided to pull him earlier, especially after Strasburg's velocity seemed to drop slightly in the second inning.

"He said, 'Just three?' I said, 'Yeah. Just three.' But I expected that," Johnson said.

Strasburg called the short outing "frustrating," but he also understood Johnson's caution.

"He has my best interests at heart, and I trust him 100 percent," Strasburg said. "I'm going to go out there until he says I'm done, and today he said I was done in the third."

Strasburg's pitch count was almost exactly the same as it was in his first start back, when he threw 56 pitches over five scoreless innings and struck out four against the Dodgers. It was clear from the start Sunday he wasn't going to cruise through the Astros' lineup the same way - he needed nine pitches to strike out leadoff batter Jordan Schafer.

Strasburg went to a full count on the first three batters, although he struck out two of them. The other, No. 2 hitter Jimmy Paredes, singled on a grounder up the middle that went through Strasburg's legs and bounced off second base. The fourth batter, Carlos Lee, singled on a 2-2 fastball to score Paredes.

Strasburg also allowed a leadoff hit in the second inning to Matt Downs, then finished with six straight outs.

"If I wasn't on a pitch count, it would have been nice to go out there and pitch longer in the game," Strasburg said. "That's how it's going to be sometimes. You're not going to go out there and feel perfect every time."

Ian Desmond, Rick Ankiel and Ryan Zimmerman all homered off Houston starter Henry Sosa (2-4) to start the third inning. It was the first time the Nationals had hit back-to-back-to-back home runs since July 11, 2009, at Houston. That was also the last time the Astros had allowed three straight homers.

"I think the nicest thing about that was to finally have a lead," Desmond said. "The last few series we've been behind and we've all been kind of defensive. So today I wanted to make sure -- I think we all wanted to make sure -- that we stayed aggressive."

The Astros (49-97) tied the franchise mark for most losses in a season. They have lost 97 games three times, most recently in 1991.

"It speaks for itself," said outfielder J.D. Martinez, who was 0 for 3. "It was just one of those nights."

To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Washington wore special blue jerseys with a stars-and-stripes background for the team's 'W' logo. Two red, blue and white logos were painted on the field in foul territory along the base lines, with the date "September 11, 2001" and the words: "We shall not forget."

Chris Marrero drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly in the second to tie the game and an RBI double in the third. Zimmerman and Desmond also had two RBI each.

Tom Gorzelanny (3-6) followed Strasburg and pitched three scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Sosa, making his seventh major league start, allowed five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings, the first time he has failed to go at least five innings.


  • Nationals 2B Danny Espinosa snapped an 0-for-15 slump with a double in the second inning. He was 2 for 4 with two doubles.
  • Nationals rookies dressed in Smurfs costumes -- including blue body paint on their torsos -- after the game in a hazing ritual.
  • Houston purchased the contract of LHP Xavier Cedeno from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed LHP Sergio Escalona on the 60-day disabled list. Cedeno flew from Puerto Rico to join the team in Washington, although his luggage and equipment didn't arrive with him. "We'll get him some shoes and a glove and go from there," manager Brad Mills said before the game.
  • The Nationals start a four-game series at the New York Mets on Monday. LHP Ross Detwiler (2-5) will start for Washington against RHP R.A. Dickey (8-11).
  • Houston hosts Philadelphia on Monday. RHP Brett Myers (4-13) opposes Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt (7-8) in a matchup of pitchers facing their former teams.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Stephen Strasburg strikes out four and gives up three hits in his second start 57-pitch outing. (AP)
Stephen Strasburg strikes out four and gives up three hits in his second start 57-pitch outing. (AP)

Players of the Game

I. Desmond
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

R. Zimmerman
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Houston Astros
Jordan Schafer, CF4010010 .247
Jimmy Paredes, 3B4120011 .297
J.D. Martinez, LF3000123 .259
Carlos Lee, 1B3011103 .276
Brian Bogusevic, RF3000013 .285
   a- Jason Bourgeois, PH1000000 .300
Matt Downs, 2B4120001 .285
Clint Barmes, SS4000003 .249
Carlos Corporan, C2000021 .193
   b- J.R. Towles, PH-C2000000 .176
Henry Sosa, P1000001 .000
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
   c- Jason Michaels, PH1000010 .201
    Jordan Lyles, P0000000 .120
    Lance Pendleton, P0000000 .000
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
   d- J.B. Shuck, PH1010000 .226
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
   e- Chris Johnson, PH1000001 .246
a-grounded out for Bogusevic in the 9th
b-flied out for Corporan in the 7th
c-struck out for Del Rosario in the 5th
d-singled for Lopez in the 8th
e-grounded out for Melancon in the 9th
2B - Matt Downs (16, Slaten)
RBI - Carlos Lee (81)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (31)
SB - Jimmy Paredes (4, 2nd base off Strasburg/Ramos)
Team LOB - 7
Houston Astros
Henry Sosa (L,2-4) 2.2755223 5.02
Enerio Del Rosario 1.1000120 4.35
Jordan Lyles 2311020 5.24
Lance Pendleton 0.2122020 4.30
Wilton Lopez 0.1100000 2.94
Mark Melancon 1000020 3.14
IBB - Ramos by Henry Sosa
HBP - Marrero (by Lance Pendleton), Ramos (by Lance Pendleton)
Pitches-Strikes - Henry Sosa 58-37, Enerio Del Rosario 15-9, Jordan Lyles 34-19, Lance Pendleton 17-11, Wilton Lopez 4-3, Mark Melancon 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Henry Sosa 2-4, Jordan Lyles 4-0, Wilton Lopez 1-0
Batters Faced - Henry Sosa 17, Enerio Del Rosario 5, Jordan Lyles 9, Lance Pendleton 5, Wilton Lopez 2, Mark Melancon 3
Washington Nationals
Ian Desmond, SS5232010 .244
Rick Ankiel, RF4111102 .245
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5122001 .291
Michael Morse, LF5000022 .310
Jayson Werth, CF5110040 .229
Danny Espinosa, 2B4120010 .228
Chris Marrero, 1B2122000 .306
Wilson Ramos, C1100201 .259
Stephen Strasburg, P1000012 .000
   a- Corey Brown, PH1000012 .000
    Tom Gorzelanny, P0000000 .111
   b- Stephen Lombardozzi, PH1000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P00000001.000
   c- Laynce Nix, PH1011000 .256
    Roger Bernadina, PR0000000 .246
    Henry Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Strasburg in the 3rd
b-grounded out for Gorzelanny in the 6th
c-singled for Burnett in the 7th
2B - Danny Espinosa 2 (25, Sosa, Sosa), Chris Marrero (3, Sosa)
HR - Ian Desmond (8, Sosa), Rick Ankiel (9, Sosa), Ryan Zimmerman (12, Sosa)
SF - Chris Marrero (1)
RBI - Ian Desmond 2 (41), Rick Ankiel (32), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (45), Chris Marrero 2 (6), Laynce Nix (44)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Desmond (11), Ryan Zimmerman (18), Chris Marrero (3), Laynce Nix (13)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Desmond-Espinosa-Marrero
E - Ryan Zimmerman (10, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Stephen Strasburg 3311040 1.13
Tom Gorzelanny (W,3-6) 3100230 4.22
Sean Burnett 1000000 4.15
Henry Rodriguez 1200010 3.79
Doug Slaten 1110000 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Stephen Strasburg 57-39, Tom Gorzelanny 39-20, Sean Burnett 16-9, Henry Rodriguez 22-15, Doug Slaten 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Stephen Strasburg 2-3, Tom Gorzelanny 2-3, Henry Rodriguez 1-1, Doug Slaten 3-1
Batters Faced - Stephen Strasburg 12, Tom Gorzelanny 11, Sean Burnett 3, Henry Rodriguez 5, Doug Slaten 5
Game Information
Attendance - 24238
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - David Rackley