WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings and Ryan Zimmerman homered twice to help the Washington Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 on Friday night.
Strasburg gave up two hits and two walks while striking out eight. He's 5-1 with a 0.84 ERA since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 19. Strasburg (15-4) retired the first 14 batters before Gregory Polanco's hard smash bounced off a diving Zimmerman at first base for the Pirates' first hit.
Zimmerman's multi-homer game was the 23rd of his career and seventh this season. He was 4-for-4 with two doubles and has reached 36 homers for the first time in his career. Zimmerman has 107 RBIs -- three short of his career best. He had a two-run homer in the sixth and then a solo shot in the eighth.
Gerrit Cole (12-12) kept Pittsburgh close for a while with seven strikeouts and a walk. He allowed just one run with an out in the sixth inning before Daniel Murphy's RBI single ended his night at 103 pitches. Zimmerman followed with his two-run homer off reliever A.J. Schugel.
Andrew McCutchen drove in the Pirates lone run with a double in the top of the ninth off Nationals reliever Matt Grace.
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