PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Stephen Strasburg hit his second major league home run and pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, leading the Washington Nationals over the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 on Friday night.
Strasburg (3-1) allowed five hits, struck out five and walked four, leaving after 119 pitches and failing to go seven innings for the first time this season. Strasburg homered in the second on a 93 mph fastball from Nick Pivetta (0-2) for a 2-0 lead. He had been 0 for 10 at the plate this season and entered with a .151 career average.
Ryan Zimmeman hit his 12th homer, doubled and raised his average to .433 with a three-hit game. Anthony Rendon homered and had three hits, and Jayson Werth also had three hits for the Nationals, who won their third straight and improved the major leagues’ best record to 20-9.
Washington played without star slugger Bryce Harper, who strained his left groin a day earlier.
Tommy Joseph and Odubel Herrera had RBI doubles for the Phillies, who have lost four straight and seven of eight.
Philadelphia closed in the seventh on RBI doubles by Herrera and Joseph off Blake Treinen.
Matt Albers, pitching in his 461st big league game, picked up his first career save with a perfect ninth that included two strikeouts. The 34-year-old right-hander had been 0 for 22 in save situations.
Pivetta (0-2), making his second big league start, gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Selected by the Nationals in the fourth round of the 2013 amateur draft, Pivetta was traded to Philadelphia. He started because Aaron Nola has a back injury.
Philadelphia relievers Jake Thompson, Edubray Ramos and Hector Neris combined to allow three hits in four scoreless innings. The Phillies bullpen entered leading the NL with seven blown saves and the majors with 21 homers allowed.
Nationals: Harper, who injured his groin making a diving catch on Thursday, is day to day and could return to the lineup this weekend. … RHP Shawn Kelley (back) was placed on the DL and LHP Matt Grace was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. … Nationals manager Dusty Baker said he doesn’t expect RHP Koda Glover (hip) to be activated on Saturday, when Glover is eligible to return. .. Strasburg called out the training staff with one out in the sixth after appearing to tweak his left calf on a pitch to Cameron Rupp, but he remained in the game.
Phillies: Nola’s MRI showed no setbacks. He is to throw a bullpen session this weekend, and a rehab start will follow next week if all goes well. … OF Howie Kendrick (oblique) is still a week to 10 days from returning.
Nationals: A.J. Cole makes his season debut or the Nationals in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday night. He is 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in 11 career starts.
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (2-2, 5.47) takes the mound for Philadelphia. Velasquez has pitched into the seventh inning in just one of his five starts.
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