Strasburg departs with lead, bullpen strong in 6-4 victory

Well, that lead didn’t last long.

Staked to a 1-0 advantage by a Wilson Ramos homer in the second inning, Stephen Strasburg twice balked home runs in a three-run bottom of the fame. The result: The Nats’ lead is gone and the Marlins are up 3-1.

Marlins Park hasn’t exactly been kind to Strasburg - coming into the game, he was 1-2 with an 8.31 ERA in three career starts in the ballpark in Little Havana - but he has only himself to blame for the second-inning debacle.

Miami loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom called the righty for a balk for putting his hand into his glove and then pulling it out. With the game tied, Adeiny Hechevarria then hit a go-ahead groundout.

Strasburg then walked Rob Brantly and got a break when Polanco held on pitcher Jacob Turner’s bunt. But while pitching to Chris Coghlan, Strasburg made another flinching motion with his right arm. Cederstrom called a second balk and Polanco scored to make it 3-1.

Update: The Nationals tied the game in the top of the third. Ryan Zimmerman led off with a homer to left, his third longball in two days. Jayson Werth then doubled to right-center, went to third on a flyout by Adam LaRoche and scored on Ian Desmond’s double. It’s 3-3 heading to the bottom of the third.

Update II: Looks like it’s going to be a back-and-forth afternoon in Miami. And thanks to Ramos, the Nationals are back on top in the fifth inning.

Desmond led off the fifth with a single to center and stole second. When he broke for third with Ramos batting, third baseman Placido Polanco move toward third to take a throw, but Ramos’ ground ball went through the spot vacated by Polanco and Desmond scored for a 4-3 lead.

That was enough to knock Turner from the game in favor of Brandon Webb, who yielded a one-out triple to Anthony Rendon to make it 5-3.

Update III: It’s now 6-3 Nationals after Adam LaRoche drew a two-out walk on a full count, swiped second when Webb didn’t pay any attention to him and scored on Desmond’s triple. Desmond has three hits and is a homer shy of the cycle.

Update IV: The Marlins scored a run off Strasburg in the sixth, making it 6-4. Scott Hairston is on to pinch-hit for Strasburg in the seventh, meaning his day is done. The right-hander allowed four runs on four hits, walked two, balked twice, fanned seven and threw 94 pitches, 55 for strikes.

Drew Storen is on to work the seventh inning.

Update V: Storen pitched a scoreless seventh, Tyler Clippard got through the eighth and Rafael Soriano nailed down his 39th save in a 6-4 Nationals win.

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