Stephen Strasburg threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his return from the injured list and the Washington Nationals beat the visiting Baltimore Orioles 4-2 in the opener of a three-game series on Friday.
Strasburg (1-1) allowed only one hit with four strikeouts and four walks while throwing 72 pitches.
Josh Bell went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for Washington, which drew a season-high crowd of 14,369.
The Nationals broke a scoreless deadlock in the fifth with two runs against right-hander Jorge Lopez (1-5). Bell delivered a two-out double and scored on Kyle Schwarber’s double to right field.
Schwarber then moved to third on Starlin Castro’s infield single and scored on Josh Harrison’s second single of the contest.
Lopez gave up two runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and three walks over five innings for the Orioles, who lost for the 11th time in their last 13 games and fell a season-high 10 games under .500 at 17-27.
Washington added to its lead in the sixth when Juan Soto singled in Yadiel Hernandez, who began the inning with a single off Tyler Wells.
Schwarber and Soto also had two hits apiece for the Nationals. Soto has reached base safely in 11 straight games and is 14-for-43 with a home run and five RBIs over that stretch.
The Orioles cut the lead in half in the ninth when Trey Mancini doubled and scored on Freddy Galvis’ two-out, two-run homer off Brad Hand. Mancini had two hits to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
The Nationals out-hit the Orioles 12-4 but missed out on several scoring opportunities in the early innings. Washington left the bases loaded in the fourth, when Lopez struck out Andrew Stevenson to end the inning.
Baltimore right fielder Anthony Santander returned to the lineup after being sidelined since April 20 due to a sprained left ankle and went 1-for-4 while batting fourth.
Washington shortstop Trea Turner went hitless in five at-bats, snapping his seven-game hitting streak.
–Field Level Media