Strasburg climbs all over Rockies as Nats rally for win

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 20, 2015 2:33 AM

(The Sports Xchange) - Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg smothered the Colorado hitters once more and Jayson Werth broke a tie with a two-run triple in the eighth inning as the Nationals beat the Rockies 4-1 on Wednesday.

Both teams scored on wild pitches and the Nationals tallied all their runs with two outs as they won back-to-back games for the first time since July 30 with the victory over a slumping Rockies team.

Strasburg (7-6) came off the disabled list Aug. 8 and on that day limited the Rockies to one run and three hits in seven innings with no walks and 12 strikeouts in Washington.

While winning for the first time in three starts at Coors Field and picking up his 50th career victory on Wednesday, Strasburg allowed one unearned run and two hits in seven innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk.

"He went out there from pitch one to the last pitch that he threw... it was total control of the game," said Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon, who earned his third save with the Nationals since being acquired in a July 28 trade.

"He knew exactly what he wanted to do and executed it."

In three starts since being reinstated from the disabled list, Strasburg is 1-1 with a 1.35 ERA, two walks and 25 strikeouts.

Strasburg gave up a run in the second. Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman made an error on a ball hit by Ben Paulsen, allowing the Colorado first baseman to reach second. He then took third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

The pitcher retired 17 of the final 18 batters he faced, including the final 10 after Paulsen reached base.

"I think teams try to get me early," Strasburg said. "Because I know when I get a feeling, when I start to settle down, command all my pitches, it's a little bit tougher."

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa pitched six scoreless innings and departed with a 1-0 lead before Gonzalez Germen came on in the seventh and gave up a two-out double to right fielder Bryce Harper.

Germen then walked third baseman Yunel Escobar on four pitches and shortstop Ian Desmond on five to load the bases, then threw a wild pitch that tied the score at 1-1.

Rafael Betancourt (2-4) retired the first two batters he faced in the eighth before catcher Wilson Ramos singled and pinch hitter Clint Robinson walked, bringing up Werth, who lined an opposite-field triple to right to put the Nationals ahead.

Zimmerman's single to shallow right brought in Escobar in the top of the ninth to complete the scoring.

The win was Washington's 11th in the past 31 games and it nudged the Nationals back over .500 at 60-59.

(Compiled by John O'Brien)