VIERA, Fla. - After a stellar outing last time out, Stephen Strasburg's final tune-up for the regular season didn't go quite as smoothly.
Strasburg went four innings today against the Cardinals, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out three and was pulled after throwing 67 pitches in his four frames of work.
Manager Davey Johnson had said he wanted Strasburg to throw 60-70 pitches today, and the righty did just that. But he had to work through a lengthy second inning, in which he gave up three hits and three runs, two of which were earned.
Strasburg allowed back to back singles to lead off the second, then gave up a two-run double to Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso. The Nats' starter failed to back up home plate, allowing Descalso to scoot to third when Danny Espinosa's relay throw home got away from catcher Jesus Flores.
Descalso scored a batter later on pitcher Jake Westbrook's RBI groundout.
Strasburg finishes spring training having allowed 11 earned runs in 23 2/3 innings (4.18 ERA) with six walks and 17 strikeouts.
John Lannan is now in for the Nationals, as the lefty makes his second relief outing this spring.
The Cardinals have a 3-0 lead here in the fifth.
Chad Tracy, playing third base today, has the Nationals' lone hit thus far.
Update: The Nats fell to the Cardinals 6-2.
John Lannan allowed three runs in relief (all in the sixth inning), and the Nats managed just four hits on the afternoon.
Back from the clubhouse in a bit.