The Arizona Diamondbacks opened a three-game homestand against the Washington Nationals on Friday night and got a taste of why they own the National League's best record. Stephen Strasburg pitched six innings of one-hit ball and Arizona starter Trevor Cahill gave up a pair of homers as Washington bested Arizona 9-1 in the first game of their series.
Arizona struggled early against the young right-hander. Strasburg did not allow a hit in the first three innings.
Meanwhile, Cahill, excluding a small blip in the third, was every bit Strasburg's match. With one out, Steve Lombardozzi tripled. Bryce Harper then drove him home on a fly ball sacrifice fly to right to give Washington a 1-0 lead.
But Strasburg's wildness caught up with him. He walked Justin Upton and Miguel Montero in the fourth inning, and Chris Johnson singled to tie the game at 1-1. Strasburg had to wait for a while, as during Montero's at-bat, home plate umpire Dale Scott was struck in the mask with a foul ball with the cound 1-2, leaving him woozy. He left the game and C.B. Bucknor took over behind the plate duties. But when play resumed, Strasburg could not find the strike zone and Montero reached, allowing Johnson the opportunity for the RBI.
But Ryan Zimmerman got to Cahill in the top of the fifth. Lombardozzi singled with one out and, with two outs, Zimmerman blasted a two-run shot to give Washington the lead back at 3-1.
Michael Morse added a homer of his own in the sixth to make it 4-1. The way the start went for Cahill was typical of the season. He was outstanding, except for three pitches. And those three pitches were the triple and two homers.
After Matt Albers came on relief, he allowed a hit and a walk to Lombardozzi and Harper. With one out, Adam LaRoche (former D-back) hit a grounder to Paul Golldschmidt that looked like could be a double play to end the inning. They got the force at second, but Stephen Drew's relay throw was errant and Lombardozzi came in to score.
Washington finished their night of scoring by adding four runs in the eighth off Mike Zagurski.
Strasburg, who improved to 13-5, went six innings, allowing the one hit and one run, struck out six and walked four. Sean Burnett, Ryan Mattheus and Craig Stammen combined for three shutout innings to close out Arizona.
Cahill fell to 9-10, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks in six innings.
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