Washington Nationals Recap: Stephen Strasburg struggles as Nats fall to Diamondbacks

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After scoring 11 runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, the Washington Nationals got a taste of their own medicine Tuesday night as they fell to Arizona, 14-6, snapping their five-game winning streak.

Things started poorly and ended even worse for Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg, who struggled mightily over 3 1/3 innings of work. Strasburg gave up eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits while striking out three batters and walking one. The right-hander had trouble keeping the ball in the park, as four of Arizona’s runs came on two homers.

The Diamondbacks’ offense got things started early on against Strasburg, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double off the bat of Aaron Hill. The Nationals cut the lead to 2-1 on an RBI double by Denard Span in the third inning, but the Diamondbacks would get that run back in the bottom of the frame on a solo homer by Ender Inciarte.

While the Nationals’ offense didn’t give Strasburg a ton of run support, one of his biggest issues tonight was that he wasn’t able to get the team back in the dugout when they did score runs against Arizona starter Rubby De La Rosa. When the Nationals scored in the third, Arizona answered. When the Nationals scored another run in the fourth, the Diamondbacks answered again—big time.

The Nationals had cut the lead to 3-2 when Wilson Ramos grounded into a double play in the top of the fourth, but the D-backs broke the game wide open with five runs in the bottom of the frame. An RBI single and a sacrifice fly gave Arizona a 5-2 lead, before a three-run blast off the bat of Mark Trumbo made it an 8-2 game.

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After Strasburg left the game, Sammy Solis took over and gave up four runs, including a solo shot by Trumbo that gave Arizona an 11-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth. The Diamondbacks would add three more runs later in the inning, giving them a 14-4 lead.

The Nationals scored two runs in the top of the ninth on RBI double by Dan Uggla and a groundout by Tyler Moore, but that was all the offense the Nationals would get on the night, and the Diamondbacks took the second game of the series, 14-6.

As bad as this game was for the Nationals, there were some bright spots. Bryce Harper hit yet another home run in the top of the sixth—a two-run shot that gave the Nationals their third and fourth runs of the game. It had been two games since Harper’s last homer, so we knew this was coming eventually. Another positive was that we got to see outfielder Clint Robinson pitch in the eighth inning. Not only did Robinson take some of the workload off the ‘pen, but he also threw a scoreless inning, allowing just one hit and striking out one batter. Ramos also extended his hitting streak to 15 games

Other than that, however, this was a game to forget for Strasburg and the Nationals. Fortunately, they have a chance to come away with the series win tomorrow afternoon.

Next Game: The Nationals will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as they look to secure a series win over the Diamondbacks. Gio Gonzalez gets the start for the Nationals as Jeremy Hellickson takes the mound for Arizona.

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