EditorsNote: 6th graf, updates that he is tied for MLB lead in RBIs; 12th graf, context for Soto hitting to opposite field
Stephen Strasburg pitched eight scoreless innings, tied a season-high with 14 strikeouts and took the National League lead in wins as his Washington Nationals defeated the visiting Miami Marlins 7-0 on Saturday night.
Strasburg (16-5) extended his win streak against the Marlins to 12 games. He is 21-7 in his career against the Marlins, who haven’t beaten him since 2015. This year alone, Strasburg is 4-0 against the Marlins.
On Saturday, Strasburg allowed just two hits — both singles — and no walks. He struck out the side in the third and sixth innings, and 12 of his punchout victims went down swinging.
Strasburg retired the final 22 batters, a career-best feat. Strasburg also hit an RBI single in two at-bats.
The Nationals supported Strasburg with two solo homers by Anthony Rendon, one solo blast by Juan Soto and Kurt Suzuki’s two-run dinger. Rendon has 31 homers this season, Soto has 30 and Suzuki 15.
Rendon went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, and his two RBIs gave him 109, tied with three others for best in the majors.
Soto, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, became the seventh major leaguer with at least 30 homers in his age-20 season or younger.
Suzuki went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
It was Miami’s 14th consecutive road loss, extending a dubious franchise record.
Pablo Lopez (5-7) took the loss, allowing six hits and six runs in three innings. He walked none and struck out one in what was tied for his shortest performance of the season.
Lopez got in trouble in the first inning as Rendon and Soto hit back-to-back homers. Rendon won a nine-pitch battle, hitting three fouls and taking three balls before pouncing on a fastball and pulling it over the left field fence.
Two pitches later, left-handed hitting Soto homered to the opposite field, connecting on a changeup that was up in the zone.
The Nationals extended their lead to 3-0 in the second. Suzuki was hit by a pitch, went to third on Brian Dozier’s single and scored on Strasburg’s hit.
Another hit by pitch — this time to Rendon — sparked Washington’s next rally in the third. Rendon scored on Soto’s double, and Suzuki’s homer gave the Nationals a 6-0 lead.
The Marlins made little noise all night until Lewis Brinson barked at an eighth-inning strike call on a 3-2 Strasburg curve that caught the top of the zone. Brinson was ejected, and Rendon’s homer in the bottom of the eighth added to Miami’s pain.
—Field Level Media