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Stephen Strasburg has career-high 15 strikeouts in Nationals win over Padres

Stephen Strasburg has career-high 15 strikeouts in Nationals win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg downplayed any notion that starting pitchers on the same team attempt to top each other. On the mound one day after Max Scherzer overwhelmed the San Diego Padres, the right-hander did just that.

Strasburg dominated San Diego with a career-high 15 strikeouts while allowing three hits over seven innings as the Washington Nationals beat the Padres 3-0 on Saturday.

Strasburg (6-1) singled and scored Washington's first run on Bryce Harper's RBI fielder's choice grounder in the third inning. Michael A. Taylor hit a two-run homer for the second consecutive game.

San Diego's lineup offered little resistance against Strasburg the day after Scherzer struck out 13 in Washington's 5-1 win.

"Piece of cake, huh?" cracked Chris Speier, who is serving as acting manager with Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California.

San Diego had six hits and struck out 31 times -- 17 Saturday -- in the two losses.

"I know when you have those type of combinations," Speier said of Strasburg and Scherzer, "they feed off each other. There's a little competitiveness within the starting pitchers that is very healthy. . It's win-win for us."

With four pitches working, Strasburg struck out the side in the third and sixth and had at least two in each of the first six innings. His single matched the Padres' hit total through five innings.

Strasburg previously struck out 14 batters twice including his Major League debut on June 8, 2010. He set a personal best by setting down Franchy Cordero in the seventh.

"It's pretty cool, but there's another game 5, 6 days from now," said the low-key pitcher. "Maybe I'll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow."

The San Diego native is 6-1 with a 2.93 ERA for his career against his hometown team.

Matt Albers pitched the eighth and Koda Glover the ninth for his fifth save.

Clayton Richard (3-6) followed up his complete-game victory over the Diamondbacks on May 21 by allowing three runs and 10 hits over six innings.

One out after Anthony Rendon's leadoff single in the sixth, Taylor drove a pitch over the wall in center field for his fourth homer of the season.

"You stay in a one-run game, momentum's different," a frustrated Richard stated. "We have a different attitude, it changes a lot of things."

Washington has won two straight and five of six.

San Diego is 5-13 since May 9.

San Diego loaded the bases with one out in the first following a single, a throwing error by first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Cory Spangenberg's four-pitch walk. Strasburg ended the threat by striking out Austin Hedges on three pitches.

The Padres had two singles in the sixth, but Strasburg recorded strikeouts for the final two outs.

"Sometimes with the best pitchers in the game if you don't get them in the first three innings they get harder and harder to get to," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We had our chance in the first we didn't take advantage of it."

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Nationals Roundup: Austin Voth paces Nats to victory in Game 1 of annual Beltway Series

Nationals Roundup: Austin Voth paces Nats to victory in Game 1 of annual Beltway Series

The Battle of the Beltway Series kicked off Tuesday night in Baltimore between the Nationals and Orioles inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 

For the 31st time in 43 games, Washington emerged victorious with its 8-1 decision over Baltimore. A club that was once 19-31 returning home from a dismal sweep at the hands of New York in late May, has now won 13 of its last 16, 18 of its last 23, and 27 of its last 38 games. The Nationals remain the best team in baseball since May 24, and notched win No. 50 on the season. 

Player Notes:

The Nats have struggled to find a consistent fifth starter throughout much of this season. Is Austin Voth the guy? His six innings of four-hit, one-run baseball jumpstarted his second half of the season nicely Tuesday. The 27-year-old tossed 84 pitches, 57 of which were strikes. 

Prior to Tuesday, only 100 players had hit a ball that landed on Eutaw Street at Oriole Park. Matt Adams became the 101st to do so with his towering, 396-foot blast in the 2nd. 

The 20-year-old phenom continues to dazzle in and outside of Washington. Juan Soto's solo home run broke a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. for the 4th-most home runs before turning 21 in MLB history (39). 

To no one's surprise, 2019 All-Star Anthony Rendon scorched two more doubles Tuesday night. The third baseman now has a total of 25 on the season. 

Injuries: 

SP Max Scherzer: Back, Expected to be out until at least Jul 20

RP Jonny Venters: Back, Expected to be out until at least Jul 18

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 20

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 16

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, Expected to be out until at least Aug 7

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 17

Coming Up:

Wednesday 7/17: Nationals at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park 

Thursday 7/18: Nationals at Braves, 7:20 p.m., SunTrust Park

Friday 7/19: Nationals at Braves, 7:20 p.m., SunTrust Park 

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Nats’ bats blast Birds in Battle of the Beltways Game 1

Nats’ bats blast Birds in Battle of the Beltways Game 1

Is it a rivalry? That's a discussion for another time. Was it a blowout? You bet.

The first matchup of the two-game series went to the Nationals with a final score of 8-1 Tuesday night. 

Austin Voth recorded his first-ever Major League win even with a shaky first inning. The right-handed pitcher spoke to reporters postgame, saying the ball was slipping more than usual. 

With the fifth spot in the starting pitching rotation up for grabs, Voth believes "this is another opportunity."

"I know the last two outings that I've had haven't gone my way," the pitcher continued. "But I felt like I was fighting back in the start to put my name back in fifth starter contention." 

He did just that tonight.

"He's pitched well. I like what I'm seeing," said Davey Martinez. "If he struggles for an inning or a few pitches, he has that poise and gets back into that rhythm and I kind of like that."

It wasn't just the bullpen launching the Nats to victory. Three separate players (Soto, Rendon and Adams) combined for two RBI each. 

The Nationals were playing both long and short ball Tuesday night, with three of their eight runs coming from solo homers.

Matt Adams launched a ball to Eutaw Street to start off the Nationals scoring. Plaques line Eutaw Street to mark the balls that land there, and Adams' ball becomes the 102nd in the ballpark's history.  

Juan Soto batted a foul ball off of his shin in the top of the sixth. He responded two pitches later with a solo home run. 

Post-game, Soto admitted it hurt but, "I just get mad. When I hit it I was like 'you [pitcher] hit me.' It wasn't me it was the pitcher. I just get mad and I try to hit the ball as hard as I can." 

There is a lot of history between these two teams. The Nationals may have taken the 2018 series from the Orioles 5-1, but the all-time record still goes to the O's, 45-40.

The history between these two teams is not just on the field. Managers Davey Martinez and Brandon Hyde spent three years coaching together with the Cubs.

This is the first of four matchups this season between the two teams. The second and final game of the series takes place Wednesday night at Camden Yards. 

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