Strasburg, streaking Nats open series with DiamondbacksAug 10, 2012 - 2:51 PM (Sports Network) - Stephen Strasburg tries to pitch the Washington Nationals to their seventh straight win on Friday when they begin a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Strasburg won for the third time in four decisions on Sunday, as he held the Miami Marlins to three hits over six scoreless innings to run his record to 12-5 on the year, while lowering his ERA to 2.97. He also struck out six and his 160 on the year are second only to New York's R.A. Dickey in the National League.
"I'm just still learning how to pitch and call a game, really pick up on little things that happen in a game that can really be used to your advantage," said Strasburg, who did not get a decision in his only other appearance against the Diamondbacks.
"Sometimes you've just got to get a feel for a game, and you give up a couple runs early. The big thing is to give your guys a chance to put some runs on the board and keep it close."
As good as Strasburg has been for the Nationals this season right-hander Jordan Zimmerman may be better. Zimmerman tossed six scoreless innings on Thursday and Michael Morse hit two home runs to power Washington past the Houston Astros, 5-0.
Zimmermann (9-6) gave up just three hits, tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts and did not walk a batter. He has won six straight decisions.
"Jordan has been, probably, consistently as good as anybody in the league, no question about it," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. "I'm very comfortable when I watch him because he's in attack mode. He's a bear out there."
Morse also extended his hitting streak to 18 games.
Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche both added an RBI for the NL East-leading Nationals, who have won eight of their last nine games and 16 of their last 20. They haven't won seven in a row since an eight-game run last June.
Arizona, meanwhile, enters this series after taking two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates. In Thursday's rubber match, Jason Kubel hit a pair of two-run homers and the Diamondbacks rolled to a 6-3 win.
Wil Nieves also hit a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks, who went 6-4 on a 10-game road trip. It was Arizona's first winning road trip since May 14-20.
Arizona starter Joe Saunders (6-8) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.
"I was making pretty good pitches. They were still finding holes," Saunders said. "I just kept telling myself, 'Hey, keep making good pitches and keep pounding the strike zone and it's going to start going your way.' I'm going to try to stay as positive as I could."
Tonight, the D'backs turn to righty Trevor Cahill, who is 9-9 with a 3.76 ERA. Cahill did not get a decision on Sunday in Philadelphia, as he allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings of a 5-4 loss.
Cahill beat the Nats earlier in the year in his only other start against them.
Washington took two of three from Arizona earlier in the year.
- WASHINGTON: 9
Aug 11 12:53 AM
- Jayson Werth double to left scored Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche with two outs. Runner on second and Danny Espinosa due up.
Nationals 9, Diamondbacks 1 Top 9, 2 OutsAug 11 12:37 AM
- Adam LaRoche double to right scored Steve Lombardozzi with one out. On the play, Ryan Zimmerman advances to third. Runners on second and third and Michael Morse due up.
Nationals 7, Diamondbacks 1 Top 9, 1 OutAug 11 12:31 AM
- Bryce Harper sacrifice fly to right scored Tyler Moore with one out. On the play, Steve Lombardozzi advances to second. Runner on second and Ryan Zimmerman due up.
Nationals 6, Diamondbacks 1 Top 9, 1 OutAug 11 12:25 AM
- Michael Morse grounded into a fielder's choice, short to second. On the play, Adam LaRoche out at second to end the inning.
Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 1 Mid 7Aug 10 11:55 PM
- Michael Morse lead-off Home Run (11) to right center. Jayson Werth due up.
Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 1 Top 6, 0 OutsAug 10 11:27 PM
- Ryan Zimmerman two-out, two-run Home Run (16) to left scored Steve Lombardozzi. Adam LaRoche due up.
Nationals 3, Diamondbacks 1 Top 5, 2 OutsAug 10 11:16 PM
- Chris Johnson single to left scored Justin Upton with two outs. On the play, Miguel Montero advances to second. Runners on first and second and Gerardo Parra due up.
Nationals 1, Diamondbacks 1 Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 10 11:06 PM
- Bryce Harper sacrifice fly to right scored Steve Lombardozzi with two outs. None on and Ryan Zimmerman due up.
Nationals 1, Diamondbacks 0 Top 3, 2 OutsAug 10 10:21 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Aug 10 9:40 PM
- Bumgarner, Giants eye sweep of Nationals 10:31a
- Series up for grabs when D'Backs, Rox play rubber match at Coors 10:13a
- Sandoval's homer in the 10th lifts Giants over Nats 3:39a
- Rox slip by D-Backs in 10 1:50a
- Strasburg, Cain square off in San Fran Tue
- Rockies, D'backs resume set at Coors Field Tue
- Nats P Mattheus has broken right hand Tue
- Vogelsong breaks hand as Giants down Nats Tue
- Corbin goes the distance in Diamondbacks' win over Rockies Tue
- Nationals continue western jaunt against Giants Mon
- D'Backs, Rockies battle for NL West supremacy at Coors Mon
- Padres club Nationals Sun