Strasburg must love the Pirates (Nats win 4-2)

I have a feeling most pitchers enjoy facing the Pirates.

They've scored by far the fewest runs in the majors and are hitting just .227 as a team. Any pitcher would love to go against that group.

Stephen Strasburg really, really loves to face Pittsburgh.

Strasburg has struck out seven straight Bucs hitters, and has faced the minimum as we go to the fourth inning.

Dating back to his last start against the Pirates - which just happened to be his dazzling major league debut - Strasburg has now struck out 14 of the last 16 Pirates hitters he faced. He struck out the final seven Pittsburgh hitters on 6/8/10.

The seven straight Ks ties a Nationals team record for most consecutive strikeouts.

The Nats have managed three hits through three, but have yet to scratch a run across. We're scoreless here in the fourth.

Update: Not only did Strasburg not record any strikeouts in the fourth, he also allowed two runs.

A Jose Tabata single, a sacrifice bunt and an Andrew McCutchen bloop single to right got the Pirates on the board, and Bryce Harper only compounded the problem by making an ill-advised throw home. The ball got by Jesus Flores, allowing McCutchen to move into scoring position.

The error came back to bite the Nats, as Neil Walker blooped a two-out single to center, scoring McCutchen to make it 2-0.

Update II: The offense (finally) came alive in the sixth, as Roger Bernadina's solo home run and Adam LaRoche's two-run shot have given the Nats a 3-2 lead.

Bernadina's bomb was his first of the season, while LaRoche went yard for the sixth time this year. The first baseman now has 21 RBIs on the campaign.

Strasburg responded by working into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth, walking the bases loaded with two outs, but he struck out Garrett Jones to end the frame.

That's 13 strikeouts on the game now for Strasburg, just one shy of his career high which he posted in his debut.

Update III: Rick Ankiel added a solo shot in the ninth. Henry Rodriguez recorded save No. 7 on the season.

Nats win 4-2.

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