for this game

Strasburg takes ball for Nats in finale with Cardinals

Apr 24, 2013 - 2:58 PM (Sports Network) - Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg hasn't been himself since winning on Opening Day.

The fireballer is mired in a three-start losing streak and will take the hill Wednesday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series versus the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park.

Strasburg delivered seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win over Miami on April 1, but was then pounded at Cincinnati the next time out, allowing six runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He gave up two unearned runs in another loss to Atlanta and previously toed the mound last Friday in a 7-1 loss at New York.

The Mets reached the righty for four runs -- two earned -- and five hits in six innings, sending Strasburg to a 1-3 mark and a 2.96 earned run average in four starts. Strasburg did not figure into the decision of his only start against St. Louis last Sept. 2 in D.C., where he tossed six shutout innings and struck out nine in a 4-3 win.

Washington is on the verge of being swept in this series and suffered a 2-0 loss on Tuesday, when Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out nine batters.

"We had a large number of Cardinals fans in the stands that were cheering me on, so that felt great," said Wainwright. "When I went out for the ninth, they were going nuts and I was fired up."

Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran each drove in a run for St. Louis, which has won four of its last six games.

Nats starter Ross Detwiler pitched well in defeat and allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. Bryce Harper had two of Washington's five hits.

"The effort's there but we're just not getting it done," said National manager Davey Johnson. "We're just not getting it done. It's time to get a little mad."

The Nationals have lost three in a row and eight of 11 games, and are 0-2 on a seven-game homestand.

Jaime Garcia tries to right himself from a poor outing when he takes the ball Wednesday for the Cardinals. In Friday's 8-2 loss at Philadelphia, Garcia was banged around for eight runs -- four earned -- and nine hits in a season low three innings of work.

Garcia, a left-hander, had thrown seven shutout frames against Milwaukee on April 14 and is 1-1 with a 3.22 earned run average in four starts. Garcia has made four career starts against Washington, going 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA over 21 2/3 innings of work.

The Cardinals lost four of seven regular season matchups with Washington last season, but knocked the Nationals out of the NLDS.